UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — Police increased patrols near Manhattan schools Wednesday after a series of possibly related shootings left three people injured.

Shots rang out in three locations on Tuesday: the Upper West Side, Harlem and East Harlem. Two shootings took place near schools.

In one case, the arrested suspect is believed to be a gang member, and police have reason to suspect that all of the shootings are somehow connected.

That suspect, 19-year-old Cheik Coulibaly, faces multiple charges, including attempted murder, after police say he shot a 17-year-old student multiple times near 68th and Amsterdam.

Police say the suspect, believed to be a former classmate of the victim, has been arrested three times, including two drug arrests in 2023. The suspect was out on bail in a 2021 armed robbery case.

Several schools were briefly placed on lockdown, even as the shooting took place near the school.

“Honestly, it’s a little scary to hear about it, especially since we were at school, we weren’t told,” said student Fremy Garcia. “It was a little unexpected and we were just scared in the sense of what was going to happen to us.”

VIDEO | The New York City Police Department released information after a teenager was shot outside a school:

Two other people were shot at 129th and Madison near Harlem Renaissance High School, including a 16-year-old boy and a 27-year-old bystander.

Police say they do not believe the 27-year-old victim was the intended target in this shooting.

Police are also investigating a shooting incident at 105th Street and Park. There are no reports of injuries in this incident.

Investigators say they suspect gang involvement and believe all the incidents may be related in some way.

“Now we’re acting like they’re all connected, why am I saying that? The proximity, the geography, around the schools, the age of our victims, and now we’ve confirmed that at least one incident, this incident here, is gang-motivated,” NYPD Superintendent John Chell said.

Police say they are still looking for additional suspects as security continues.

Schools Chancellor David Banks said Wednesday that the Department of Education could do more to support students in the wake of a spate of public school shootings.

He said students bring guns to schools not to use them inside the buildings, but “to protect themselves as they walk to and from school.”

The NYPD will increase policing outside schools, including providing safe passage for students in neighborhoods, but Banks vowed that “we’re not going to militarize our schools, we’re not going to bring police into our schools.”

Religious leaders were also on campus Wednesday to pray for the safety of students.

“We’re going to the place where this violence is happening to say you can’t have our streets, you can’t have our children and our youth,” said Pastor Jeff Crenshaw, an anti-violence activist.

During a prayer vigil outside the Marin Luther King Jr. School complex, Pastor Michelle Sweeting DeCaro, whose son attends the school, said it’s important for children to talk to counselors about what happened, and resources for parents wouldn’t hurt either.

“How do you talk to your child when he comes home and there’s a shooting outside the school and the classroom is on lockdown?” she said. “To be honest, I didn’t want him to come to school today. Because I was afraid that something would happen.”

The 17-year-old victim is recovering, and Eyewitness News reporter Sonia Rincon spoke briefly with his mother. She also spoke to an innocent bystander who was shot in the leg in another shooting outside a school yesterday in Harlem. He was in a lot of pain and no one was ready to speak publicly.

According to data obtained by Eyewitness News, from September 2022 to March 2023, 4,068 weapons were confiscated from New York City schools.

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