The annual West Indian Parade in New York City is one of the summer’s premier events in the city. Colorful floats and costumes roll up and down the streets of the Big Apple, as Caribbean culture is celebrated and enjoyed. However, the parade has been the scene of various violent crimes in the past. Last year, a man fired his gun into a crowd,killing one and injuring several. The year before, a 1-year-old was struck by a bullet meant for his father, as he sat in his stroller. Sadly, this year, shooting broke out again. This time, a member of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was struck and is in critical condition.
Carey Gabay, 43, a Harvard educated government lawyer, was randomly shot in the head as he walked near the Brooklyn parade route around 3:30 AM with his brother. The first deputy general counsel at the Empire State Development Corporation was caught in the middle of a shootout between two groups police suspect to be gang members. Gabay and his wife are expecting their first child. Also wounded during the attack was a 21-year-old who was shot in the back.
The parade went on as scheduled and attendees enjoyed a good time. Gov. Cuomo was grief stricken upon hearing the news of Gabay’s shooting. “It is an instance and a moment that really brings home the pain and the pointlessness of this violence…the violence has to stop. This was a beautiful man, a sweet man,” said the governor. “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 his staffer’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.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Our hearts are very heavy right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young aide to the governor, this young man who has devoted himself to public service….it is another reminder of a bigger fight we are engaged in every day, which is to get guns off our streets.”
No one has been arrested for the shooting, but a gun was recovered on the scene. Gabay remains in critical condition. About an hour before he was shot, a 24-year-old man was stabbed to death near Grand Army Plaza. We’ve seen instances where Black celebrations have been shuttered due to wild incidents (i.e. Freaknik, the Greek Picnic), and it wouldn’t be surprising if New York pulls the West Indian Parade. The actions of a few could be bad news for the many.