Cops are looking for the gunman who fired a shot during an argument near Penn Station on Monday afternoon that wound up injuring a 58-year-old man walking nearby, police reported.
The injured victim remains in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital and is expected to survive, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told reporters at a press conference near the crime scene Monday evening.
Detectives are now hunting for the gunman behind the reckless shooting that took place at the height of rush hour, at 5:42 p.m. on Aug. 23, near the New Jersey Transit side of the Midtown transportation hub, off the corner of 7th Avenue and West 31st Street.
Shea said the trouble began inside the station, when the shooter got into an argument with another man. It’s believed that the shooter had asked the man for food, but got into a dispute with him when his request was denied.
“The dispute spills out onto the street,” Shea said. “At some point in time, one of the males — a male Black, possibly with a red backpack — pulls out a firearm, discharging one round which misses the intended target.”
The slug instead struck the 58-year-old man, whom Shea noted has been in New York City just three months and was walking through the area on his way to meet his wife.
Officers from the Midtown South Precinct responded to the incident along with EMS units. Much of the area was frozen for a time as police investigated the shooting.
But while Shea expressed confidence that detectives would eventually catch the perpetrator responsible, he again expressed frustration over the recent spate of gun violence across New York City. The commissioner has previously called for changes to the state’s bail reform laws and greater activity in the criminal justice system to ensure suspects arrested in gun cases remain locked up on high bail.
“We’ve seen what’s happened over the last 18-24 months. We’ve had all the discussions. I think it’s past time to talk. About 10 blocks north of here, we had a young child shot months ago and we had the same discussion,” Shea said, referencing May’s shooting in Times Square that injured a four-year-old tourist and two other people. “The marches are great, but we don’t need marches anymore. We need action. We need laws that help the police rather than hurt and take tools away from the police. I view this incident today as the confluence of a series of bad policies and this is what you get when you get that. We need people to be held accountable when they carry guns. When they’re caught carrying guns, they need to go to jail.”
In the meantime, anyone with information regarding the Penn Station shooting can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.
Watch as @NYPDShea gives an update on a shooting that occurred on the corner of 7th Avenue and West 31st Street in Manhattan. pic.twitter.com/qQQPPnMOWf
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) August 23, 2021