Volume 48, Issue 4 (July 2003)
Gunshot Fatalities in Children and Adolescents in New York City
We reviewed the case records of all fatalities due to gunshot wounds in children and adolescents under 19 years of age in New York City from 1996 to 2000. The epidemiological profile, circumstances, toxicology results, location, and injuries were examined. There were 263 deaths: 242 homicides, 17 suicides, and 4 accidents. Among the homicides, 96% involved Black or Hispanic and 68% involved 17 and 18-year-old decedents. There were 11 times as many male as female homicides. The detection of ethanol and/or illicit drugs was 56% in the homicide and 53% in the suicide groups. Suicide notes were found in 18% of suicides, and an additional 35% verbally expressed a plan to commit suicide. Most suicides (77%) were in the home and half of the homicides occurred on the street.