New York City's murder-free spell ends after just 12 days – but that's a new record

Police say reports of violent crimes tend to drop off in winter

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It was brief and it was bizarre and it was ended on Saturday evening when a man succumbed to gunshot injuries he had suffered the day before.

Eric Roman, 28, was shot in the head and leg as he was walking home from the gym in New York’s Queens neighbourhood on Friday. He was taken to the Jamaica Hospital Medical Centre but died the following day.

Alongside the tragedy that the killing of Mr Roman represented for the young man’s family, it also marked the end of the longest spell New York City had managed to go without a murder since it started keeping records 20 years ago. As it was, that murder-free period stretched to 12 days.

“Shhhh. Don’t want to jinx it. We’re into our 12th day … and 11 is the record, and let’s keep it going,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said on CBS’s This Morning on Friday, prior to Mr Roman’s shooting.

Police in New York, once notorious as a hot bed of violet crime and murder, began recording murder statistics using a computerised system called Compstat in 1994.

Officer say murder rates typically fall in winter when freezing weather keeps people - criminals and ordinary citizens alike - inside. The last time the city managed a 10-day spell without a murder also occurred during the month of February, according to the New York Times.

Reports said Mr Roman and a friend left a gym and were walking home when two men accosted them. Mr Roman’s friend was attacked and then fled, returning to the scene to find Mr Roman wounded and the two men speeding off in a black Mercedes.