NEW YORK, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- The number of shooting victims in New York City more than doubled in 2020, with low-income and minority communities hardest hit by gun violence, according to the latest data from New York City Police Department (NYPD).
Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 20, the city recorded 1,824 shooting victims, up by nearly 104 percent from 896 during the same period last year, said the NYPD data.
The Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice said people of color accounted for most of the victims.
An analysis of the NYPD data from the office showed that 1,440 of the 1,495 shooting victims between Jan. 1 to Oct. 1, or 96 percent, were either Black or Hispanic. Meanwhile, 29 shooting victims were white.
While the number of victims has increased in 2020, the racial breakdown of shooting victims follows patterns in previous years, the analysis showed.
Eight low-income neighborhoods, including six in Brooklyn and two in the Bronx, have the highest number of shootings recorded in the city, according to the analysis.
Gun violence has been a persistent and longstanding problem in those neighborhoods, and the eight neighborhoods accounted for the most shootings in the city in 2019 and in 1993, said the office.
Meanwhile, the number of shootings increased to 1,493 for the year so far, compared with 754 for the same time in 2019, the NYPD data showed. A single shooting could end up with more than one victim, which accounts for the difference in totals between victims and incidents.
The surge in shootings this year is greater than any rise the city has seen in years, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Wall Street Journal on Monday quoted NYPD officials as saying.
NYPD officials have also attributed this year's rise in shootings in part to gang activity, which is often concentrated in poor neighborhoods where shootings are more prevalent, the paper said.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said in a recent interview that officers would focus on arresting gang leaders to address the issue.