Shootings at an early morning celebration in Brooklyn took the lives of two people and wounded two others, despite efforts by police to prevent violence at Monday’s “J’Ouvert” event.
J’Ouvert, French for “day break,” is an annual Caribbean carnival that precedes New York City’s West Indian Day Parade, CBS reports. The gathering kicks off at 4 a.m. every year.
Police say that festivities quickly turned violent.
A young male suffered a fatal shot in the chest at 3:50am, followed by an elderly woman who was shot in the arm in the same location. Another elderly woman was reportedly injured while fleeing the gunfire. A 22-year-old woman was also shot in the head 25 minutes after the first shooting and later died at a hospital.
A man in his 20s was also reportedly injured from gunfire and another woman was stabbed.
J’Ouvert suffered violence just a year ago as well.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) sought to beef up security for the gathering after gang violence in 2015 resulted in the shooting death of Carey Gabay, who was a former aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo. A young man was stabbed to death at the same event.
Gunfire at J’Ouvert also took a man’s life in 2014.
The NYPD added more officers, dozens of new cameras and 200 light towers to illuminate the street party this year. Police also posted flyers throughout the city that noted last year’s tragedies and read in part “Do not shoot anyone. Do not stab anyone,” The New York Daily News reports.
NYPD Deputy Inspector Norman Grandstaff posted a photo of the flyer in a tweet Thursday, possibly anticipating more violence.
J’Ouvert is rooted in the Caribbean as a way to mark the beginning of Carnival. The tradition is popular amongst Caribbean diaspora such as those gathered in New York City.