New Task Force to Combat City Violence is Created

NEWBURGH – The City of Newburgh has eight percent of Orange County’s population, but 50 percent of the violent crime in the county is committed in this municipality.

And Friday, Mayor Torrance Harvey gathered federal, state, county and city law enforcement official during a news conference to discuss the shooting that took place on Wednesday, November 17 around 3:30 p.m. on a busy street that left four teenagers, 16-18, wounded, without the apprehension of the assailants.

“It almost felt like a movie. It was real – but unreal,” said Harvey, of watching camera footage of the incident. “The city blocks are hot right now, and we have to maintain public safety. We don’t want this to ever happen again.”

Camera footage from the street details how youths are moving though the street as one shoots toward an oncoming police cruiser. A school bus was also in the neighborhood dropping off small children, and the bus’s dashcam records the chaos going on.

“A school bus with elementary kids on that bus,” said Harvey. “That’s what’s very troubling.”

Seventeen shell casings from 45mm, 9mm and 22-caliber weapons were found on the scene following the shooting.

“What’s disturbing is that we are seeing young teenagers with guns,” said Harvey. “And not only are they with the guns, but they are shooting them at one another – in broad daylight.”

“Every act of violence is troubling, but this case is especially disturbing from the amount of youth involved to the amount of guns fired in broad daylight and towards responding police, as children were walking home with their parents. I feel as though we adverted a real tragedy from occurring and are fortunate there were no innocent bystanders nor officers struck by gunfire. This intentional and violent behavior will not be tolerated in our community,” Police Commissioner Jose Gomerez said.

As officers were responding to the initial calls for shots fired, one person armed with a gun appears to wait for the first officer on-scene to get closer to his position and fires three rounds in the air towards the officer’s direction. This occurred steps away from a school bus dropping off elementary students.

Now a task force has been formed to help the city get a grip to combat this violence. For any information about the unknown assailants, Harvey is asking people to call 845-561-3131 to help police solve this case. “These are some real serious issues we want to address,” said Harvey.

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