The NYPD’s ShotSpotter gun shot detection system led officers to a Brownsville, Brooklyn, rooftop where they discovered more than 20 shellcasings fired from a high-powered automatic weapon.
No 911 calls were received for gunshots at the Howard Avenue apartment building, but police officers, directed by the ShotSpotter, found the casings, indicating the automatic weapon had been fired off the rooftop.
No victims were located from the incident.
The recent shooting incident highlights the success of the ShotSpotter technology, expanded to seven precincts in the Bronx and seven in Brooklyn last month.
NYPD officials implemented the system expecting it would alert them to a large number of incidents of shots fired that currently go undetected.
According to national statistics, about 75 percent of shootings go unreported. NYPD officials initially believed that because of the city’s dense population, New York’s percentage of unreported shots fired incidents is lower.
But in the past two weeks, during which the program has been running, there have been 58 activations of shootings, only 11 of which were reported through traditional 911 calls.
NYPD officials held a news conference at One Police Plaza, where they played the audio of the barrage of shots recorded by a ShotSpotter near the Howard Avenue building.
Officials also played audio and video from another shooting in the 67 Precinct in Brooklyn, where A ShotSpotter detected the shots being fired, automatically activating a nearby NYPD ARGUS camera, which captured the video of the suspects fleeing. NYPD officials were able to monitor the incident in real time at One Police Plaza.
The NYPD has been testing the ShotSpotter technology on a limited basis since 2011. A ShotSpotter in Brooklyn picked up the sounds of gunfire on Dec. 20, later determined to be connected to the fatal shootings of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
The technology uses acoustic detectors to triangulate potential shooting locations. It has been successful in other major American cities and in area municipalities, including several on Long Island.
Commissioner William Bratton had been on the board of California-based SST Inc., which produces the ShotSpotter technology, but had left by the time he became police commissioner in January 2014.