A 27-year-old man was arrested and charged on Friday for a June 17th Bronx shooting where two kids were caught on video cowering mere inches away from bullets aimed at an intended target. The shooting captured the attention of mayoral candidates days before the primary as crime became a focal point in the race.
Michael Lopez of Harlem was charged with attempted murder and other charges for the shooting outside a Mt. Eden bodega on Sheridan Avenue, according to police at a Friday afternoon news conference.
Video surveillance released by the NYPD showed a man clad in black and wearing a black mask chasing down another man. The victim then collides with the two kids—a five-year-old boy and his 13-year-old sister—and they all fall to the ground. The suspect continues to fire toward the victim as the kids dodge bullets. The victim suffered gunshot wounds to his back and legs. The two kids were not harmed. Police are still searching for another person believed to be an accomplice. On top of the attempted murder charge, Lopez faces assault, weapons possession, reckless endangerment, and attempted reckless endangerment charges.
The incident happened days before primary day, where polls showed the rising tide of gun violence across the city was a top concern. Mayoral candidates condemned the shooting, including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who currently has a commanding lead, according to preliminary results. Last Saturday, Adams had visited the location of the shooting alongside Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and offered a $2,000 cash reward for information leading to the apprehension of a suspect.
Lopez is known to the police department for five prior arrests, according to the police. He was incarcerated for attempted murder in 2015 and released on parole after serving two and a half years of a nine-year sentence.
The number of major crimes in the Bronx increased by 5.42%, with 9,283 incidents reported this year compared to 8,806 the same time a year ago when New York City was emerging from the state-ordered PAUSE. Shootings in particular have nearly doubled, with 222 reported incidents reported this year compared to 117 the same time a year ago, an 89.7% jump.
“Now I fear the catchphrase is ‘the Bronx is bleeding,’” the Bronx district attorney Darcel Clark said at the press conference.