Police Eye Domestic Violence in Upper East Side Killing of Mother

“I’m scared,” she said. “I’m obviously a mom. You’re just walking in the street and you get shot.”

On Thursday morning, steps from where Ms. Johnson was killed, Julio Cruz discovered the police towing his car. He said officers had told him a bullet from the shooting might still be inside the vehicle, and that they needed to conduct a search.

“The time they need is the time they need,” said Mr. Cruz, 62. “I hope they find something about this case.”

A single police car guarded the small, roped-off scene, which was next to a playground and a leafy green patch of hillside. A dark red streak of blood could be seen on the sidewalk.

After surging earlier in the pandemic, shooting rates in New York have begun to abate, but they remain above their prepandemic levels. As of Sunday, there had been 624 shootings in the city this year, compared with 710 in the same period in 2021. That is a 12 percent drop, but still about 28 percent more than at the same point in 2019.

Even amid the recent declines, the persistence of gun violence — particularly in poor and working-class neighborhoods with large Black and Latino populations — has increased pressure on Mr. Adams to act.

Rates of domestic violence in the city have also risen since the pandemic began. The numbers track with a concerning national trend, when the early days of Covid forced people to stay at home, a phenomenon that some experts suggest made it more difficult for women to report or escape abusers.

In 2019, the Police Department fielded 87,512 reports of domestic violence; in 2021, there were 89,032. In the 19th Precinct, where the killing took place, rates have dropped slightly in the same time frame, by around 3 percent. In New York, the impact of domestic violence has historically fallen disproportionately on Black and Hispanic residents.

Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Sean Piccoli, Matthew Sedacca and Téa Kvetenadze contributed reporting. Kirsten Noyes contributed research.

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