"A gunman shot wildly into a crowd at an outdoor barbecue in Harlem early this morning, hitting three people and leaving a 13-year-old boy in critical condition, police said.
The teen, Christopher Owen, was among the more than 300 people enjoying the unseasonably warm night along Lenox Ave. when gunshots rang just before 1:30 a.m.
A single bullet struck Christopher in the head, sending him sprawling to the sidewalk near W. 121st St. He has not yet regained consciousness at St. Luke's Hospital, officials said.
"He's a wonderful kid," said the teen's mother. "Help me catch who shot my son."
The block party that ended in bloodshed started when the sun set Saturday night. Hordes of revelers were drawn there by food and drinks offered outside the Paris Blues lounge.
The crowd grew unruly soon after midnight, as several small fights broke out among the predominantly teenage partygoers, said the security guard at the lounge.
"I could feel it, I could sense the potential for violence out here," said guard Steven Jackson."So lemme get this straight...
Rowdy gang party gets rowdier. Fights break out, and fights in Harlem mean one thing. The same thing it meant 50 years ago. Knives and bats and guns will pass through the crowd like full canteens in the middle of a desert.
Know this for a fact because I've been trapped on the fringe of such a brouhaha more than once back when I grew up in Manhattan. No one really cares all that much about the minor cuts inflicted by stiletto's, or the bruises from the Louisville Sluggers, but a gunshot or two means business when the liberal press, police, and politico's get involved.
And instead of asking WHY this melee was allowed to continue after war was declared among the rival gangs, the hue and cry will attack the firearms used.
There is not, nor in recent memory has there BEEN a peaceful gang barbecue in Harlem, and if you're buying the report that "all was well until the guns showed up", or, "a fun time was being had by all as they hugged trees while singing Bob Dylan songs", then lets meet later on to see which bridge I can sell your stupid ass.
But back to why the cops didn't arrive until after the lead did.
All parties involved said one thing; the police were there in a flash, and in NYC that means they were around the block awaiting the death toll. Cruise on by while upwards of 500 gangstas...300 is a laugh...are wrestling in the streets and two things will go down:
1.) Cop or no cop, you're going to get hurt....because...
2.) Instead of thanking the police for checking things out, the hoodsters will focus their hatred of humanity on them instead of one another and Al Sharpton is only a phone call away.
Nope, better to wait until they begin shooting themselves, because that'll awaken the parents and they'll be screaming for the cops.