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Police respond to Riverdale Osborne Towers, where four people were found shot dead, in Brooklyn, N.Y., on March 14, 2018.

STEPHANIE KEITH/The New York Times News Service

Four people, including a young child, were shot to death in a Brooklyn apartment on Wednesday, hours before students throughout New York City participated in walkouts to protest gun violence.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the deaths were three homicides and a suicide, according to police spokesman Stephen P. Davis.

The child was a girl between the ages of 1 and 2; the other victims were a male apparently in his late teens, a man apparently in his 50s, and a man apparently in his late 20s, according to The New York Times .

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A relative found their bodies around 5 a.m. at a high-rise complex, the Riverdale Osborne Towers.

Brownsville has long been one of New York City’s most violent neighbourhoods. Like other parts of the city, it has experienced a steep decline in crime in recent years. It’s still one of the poorest parts of Brooklyn.

Young people in the U.S. walked out of class Wednesday to demand action on gun violence in what activists hoped would be the biggest demonstration of student activism yet in response to last month’s massacre in Florida.

The New York City walkouts, which were among thousands being held across the U.S. and around the world, honoured victims of last months’ Florida school massacre.

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