Suspects in two recent shootings that murdered a Queens teen and left an 11-year-old in Brooklyn paralyzed are behind bars, and though family members of these and other victims of gun violence came together Saturday to applaud the NYPD's work, the community and police realize there is still much work to be done. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
It's still difficult for Robert Mazyck to talk about the shooting that left his 11-year-old daughter, Tayloni, paralyzed.
On Saturday, flanked by others who've experienced his pain, Mazyck called on New Yorkers to help stop the violence.
"We got to stick together. We really do," he said. "Take back our streets. This gang violence, drug violence, it's unnecessary."
The group gathered in Queens in part to acknowledge the quick arrests in two recent shootings that killed or critically injured young girls who were caught in the street violence cross fire.
However, the gathering of victims and community leaders said that more needs to be done because the violence continues.
"As they talked about the nine-year-old girl that was shot last night, there was a 19-year-old young man that was killed out here in southeast Queens last night," said Erica Ford of the South Jamaica Cure Violence Program.
Officials said punishing the criminals will never truly ease the pain.
"Justice brought by the court is never going to bring these children back," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a mayoral candidate.
The real justice, Quinn said, is to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"It will not be tolerated," she said. "You shoot anyone's child, you have shot all of our children, and the entire city of New York is going to respond in appropriate measures."
Phillip Banks, the NYPD's new Chief of Department, said the police and the community must work together.
"There's a lot of people in this particular community that's doing a lot that they can," Banks said. "If we can continue to build that relationship and focus in on our similarities, I am extremely confident that we can limit and we can eliminate this senseless violence."
Currently, the City Council is looking at legislation that would target the root causes of violence by empowering city kids to leave that life behind. That will hopefully mean that groups of families mourning loss will not continue to grow.