Posted on June 26, 2023

Juneteenth Was NYC’s Deadliest Day for Shootings in 2023 So Far

Brittany Kriegstein, Gothamist, June 23, 2023

When Doniesha Ferguson spoke to her dad on Father’s Day, he was enjoying a favorite meal and a special gift.


Barely 24 hours later, Howard Ferguson was dead — the first of five people to be killed by gunfire on Juneteenth, making it the city’s deadliest day of gun violence so far this year.

Gun violence continues to trend downward citywide, with the NYPD’s CompStat tracking system showing 508 shooting victims this year to date, compared to 680 shooting victims at this time last year. About 20% of all shootings tend to be fatal. Summer is also typically a time when the heat and outdoor activities cause gun violence to increase, according to long-term crime statistics, although murders and shootings were significantly down last summer.

The one-day surge likely resulted from a complex convergence of factors, according to David Caba, the vice president of Good Shepherd’s Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence (B.R.A.G.)

The fact that Monday was a federal holiday could be one reason.

“Holiday means idle time,” Caba said. “And sometimes those celebrations, you know, lead to debates. And debates then lead to what we sometimes see when it comes to violence.”

The fatal shootings spanned 11 hours and three boroughs and were all seemingly unrelated.

Ferguson, 48, was shot in the back around 12 p.m. at his usual bodega on White Plains Road in the Bronx after a scuffle with another man that police arrested and identified as Oriean Dorsett, 32. {snip}


Dorsett was charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal weapons possession. Police said he’d been caught with a loaded gun twice in 2015.


The bloodshed continued throughout the day.

Two hours later, a gunman came up to Alexander House, 27, who was sitting outside his building on Longwood Avenue in the Bronx. He was shot in the head at point blank range, according to police. Paramedics rushed him to St. Barnabas Hospital, but he couldn’t be saved.

Neighbor Hercules Overton said he heard two shots and thought they were fireworks before realizing that House had been murdered.


Almost four hours later, the violence jumped boroughs. Two men in black hoodies shot Amiere Hayes, 16, in the head less than a block away from his family’s apartment on Marcus Garvey Boulevard in Bed-Stuy. {snip}


Heidi Aude would feel similar devastation that night, as she learned her husband, Paul Gonzalez, 38, was the next to die by gunfire.

Just before 10 p.m., Gonzalez was gunned down on the sidewalk outside his Harlem apartment on West 140th Street. The couple’s 7-year-old daughter Nova, also off from school that day, was watching from the window.


The night wasn’t over.

Kevin Roberts, 56, was shot and killed on Simpson Street in the Bronx – a place where he was well-known as ‘K-tel’ or ‘Big Red,’ according to Facebook posts from grieving friends and neighbors.


Ten additional people were shot citywide but survived, according to the NYPD.


Police have not made arrests yet in the killings of Alexander House, Amiere Hayes or Kevin Roberts.