SUV holds rally after violent Bronx Park East gun fatality

Pastor Kwame Thompson (c) speaks to the crowd at the SUV community rally on Thursday, October 18 in response to the shooting in Allerton.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

The community came out in force to call for an end to violence after a fatal shooting.

Jacobi Medical Center’s Stand Up to Violence Program held a Community Shooting Response rally and march through the streets to say “no” to violence.

The vicious slaying of a 27-year-old man, who was shot and killed in his parked car on Bronx Park East, sparked the march.

The program’s Pastor Jay Gooding, SUV’s director of Community Outreach acted fast after the murder, which occurred on Monday, October 15, to organize the community rally on Thursday, October 18 in the streets surrounding Zimmerman Playground.

The rally is indicative of the type of work that SUV does in the three catchment areas of the 43rd, 47th and 49th precinct’s where they hold Community Shooting Responses within three days after a major violent incident, said Erika Mendelsohn, SUV program director.

“We go out within 42 and 72 hours to do a Community Shooting Response where we gather together community leaders…in order to raise awareness and bring the community together after a shooting,” said Mendelsohn.

This particular response saw residents and clergy come together to call for an end to the violence, she said.

The latest incident defied several recognizable traits.

In this particular case, the still unresolved homicide had occurred relatively early in the evening, as well as in an area where there had not been a lot of violence as of late, she said.

“I think people were surprised by that and kind of concerned,” said Mendelsohn.

Gooding said that the area where the shooting occurred, even though it falls within the geographic area that SUV covers in the 49th Precinct that stretches north from Pelham Parkway and takes in the Pelham Parkway Houses, Parkside Houses, and nearby blocks up to East Gun Hill Road, had not recorded a shooting incident in over a year prior to the recent homicide.

“We have had four or five shooting responses in the general area, but this is the first one that has happened in this particular target area in 379 days,” said Gooding, a pastor of the Fellowship Tabernacle Ministries.

Separate from the shooting responses, SUV employs ‘violence interrupters,’ former gang members who work independently from police, and try to learn more about what happened and intervene to prevent retaliation and escalation of violence, said Mendelsohn.

According to a police source, detectives are still trying to determine a motive for the incident.

Cops responded to a 911 call of a man shot at 8:31 p.m. that evening in front of 2824 Bronx Park East.

The deceased, identified as Donrass Granville of 2505 Olinvile Avenue, was taken to Jacobi Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Gooding said that he can personally testify to the program’s effectiveness, and in the specific target zones it works in within the three precincts, he estimates there was a 60 percent decrease in shooting incidents in these zones since the program began (in 2014 in the 47th and 49th precincts and 2015 in the 43rd Precinct).

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com..

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