The stabbing death and the first shooting happened at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza after violence broke out about 2 a.m. near where a separate predawn march was scheduled to start at 4 a.m.
One man had a gunshot wound and another was stabbed, police said. The two men were taken to New York Methodist Hospital in the nearby Park Slope neighborhood, where the stabbing victim, age 24, died from his injuries. The shooting victim, 21, was shot in the buttocks. He is expected to recover.
Meanwhile, the Cuomo aide, Carey Gabay, 43, who is the Empire State Development first deputy counsel, was shot in the head in nearby Crown Heights about 3:40 a.m., police said, adding that he was caught in the crossfire as two gangs fired at one another. Emergency responders transported him to Kings County Hospital, where he was listed in grave condition. No arrests have made been, police said.
“I’m the governor of the state of New York, and there’s not a thing I can do,” Cuomo told reporters after he visited Gabay’s family at Kings County Hospital. “There’s not a thing I can say, and there’s nothing I can do. And sometimes it just hurts.”
In an earlier statement, Cuomo said: “Carey is an outstanding public servant who joined our administration in 2011. He is a Harvard-educated lawyer who works for the state because he wants to give back to others and make a difference. He is just 43 years old and is a kind-hearted man.”
Less than an hour after Gabay was shot, a 39-year-old man was shot in East Flatbush, officials said. He also was taken to Kings County Hospital and was expected to survive. At about the same time, another man was shot in Crown Heights, police said. The 20-year-old victim also was taken to Kings County Hospital. A suspect was arrested and a firearm was recovered at the scene of the shooting, police told the (New York) Daily News.
Bloodshed before or after the celebration has become a sadly familiar part of the parade routine. Last year, a recent parolee opened fire into a crowd of revelers, killing one man and wounding several others. And in 2013, a 1-year-old boy sitting in his stroller was killed by a bullet meant for his father.
The NYPD had dispatched an additional 1,500 police to patrol the overnight parties and march before the parade.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton dismissed talk of scuttling the pre-parade festivities — which center on a nighttime march known as J’Ouvert — and said the New York Police Department was working with local leaders to make the event safer.
Later, the parade – a colorful celebration of Caribbean culture, music, style and food – rolled through Brooklyn as scheduled and drew hundreds of thousands of people alongEastern Parkway. Throbbing basslines pulsated along the route, propelling outlandishly clad revelers to dance and those along the sidelines to bob their heads as they ate indigenous foods.
“This is our heritage. It means so much to me to see all these colors and music,” said Alicia Jackson of Brooklyn. “It’s one of my favorite days of the year.”