Gregory Cooper, 24, was shot to death Monday on Roycroft Drive. He is the city's first homicide victim of 2013.
"For me the perfect year, and I don't anticipate ever having a perfect year, but the perfect year for me would be a year with zero homicides," Chief Sheppard said.
Just one week ago, the chief made the case for gun control as a speaker at Governor Cuomo's State of The State address. He supports the new legislation.
"There's a component that addresses gun violence relative to being involved in another crime and I think that with stiffer penalties relative to that, say if I do a robbery and I'm armed with a gun and the penalty is a little bit stiffer I think that will have some impact on what happens on our urban streets," he said.
In 2012, homicides and violent crime were up from 2011 and shooting victims rose from 143 to 218. But overall Sheppard says the numbers are improving.
"Over the last 25 years this city's averaged about 44 homicides a year," he said.
Even as the data suggests his department is on the right track, another family's pain is a reminder Sheppard's work is never done.