Detectives know who gunned down three men at R.V. Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, early Sunday, a top police commander said Monday, indicating an arrest was imminent.
"We believe he is new to the area," chief of detectives Robert Boyce told reporters about the incident at the public housing development.
All three victims who died were residents of Ingersoll Houses, as was the suspected shooter, Boyce said.
"The case will be solved," Boyce added. A law enforcement source who didn't want to be identified said police theorize the shooting took place as part of a drug dispute. The victims were identified by police as Calvin Clinkscales, 43; Lacount Simmons, 38; and Herbert Brown, 76.
In the Bronx, a cabbie was shot dead early Monday after police said he picked up a passenger in the south Bronx and was directed to go to the Crotona Parkway area where he was killed over a fare dispute. Boyce said detectives were preparing to release some video of the incident, which took the life of Barry Mamadou, 34, of the Bronx.
The shooting incidents capped a particularly bloody weekend in which seven people were slain in what NYPD Commissioner William Bratton labeled "a spike" in violent crime. Through Sunday the city had 251 homicides, compared with 229 in the same period last year, an increase of 9.6 percent. Shootings so far this year total 854, the same as last year.
While overall serious crime remains down 3.3 percent from last year, some categories such as homicide, rape and robbery have gone up. Speaking at a street dedication ceremony in honor of the late NYPD deputy commissioner and sidekick Jack Maple, Bratton downplayed any notion that the need to use resources to protect Pope Francis and the foreign dignitaries in town for the UN General Assembly was straining the NYPD at the local level.
"We are a very large department, 35,000 of us, so the pope's visit will not interfere at all with any of the coverage we have in our various precincts," Bratton said.
Bratton disputed the suggestion that a decline in stop, question and frisk activity was contributing to the increase in violence.
"So stop trying to make a connect, there is none," he said, citing lower citywide crime in the face of fewer stop and frisks under his current tenure.
Recent studies noted that criminologists have found that stop and frisk had some effect on lowering crime in certain high-crime street intersections and segments, notably in the Bronx.