The failed robber who shot a man at the Union Square subway station on Monday night has been linked to two other holdups in Manhattan, police reported.
Police released images early Tuesday morning of the culprit sought for the evening rush hour shooting on Oct. 25 that left a 42-year-old male commuter injured and caused panic for subway riders.
Based on a preliminary investigation, police determined that the suspect opened fire on the victim during a robbery bid on board a northbound N train as it approached the Union Square stop. Detectives later linked the perpetrator to two other robberies in Manhattan — including a bank robbery attempt that occurred only minutes before the subway shooting.
Law enforcement sources said the first incident happened at about 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 24, when the suspect walked into a deli at 369 Lexington Ave. in Murray Hill and approached a 42-year-old man as he ordered food.
Cops said the suspect walked up to the man from behind and demanded his property while lifting up his shirt to reveal a firearm tucked in his waistband. The victim then removed $45 in cash from his wallet and handed it over to the ungrateful crook, who asked, “That’s it?”
The suspect then exited the deli without taking the victim’s property; he was last seen heading toward Grand Central Station, authorities noted.
About 10 minutes before the Union Square shooting, police reported, the crook visited the TD Bank at 254 Canal St. in Chinatown at about 4:47 p.m. on Oct. 25. Cops said he displayed a firearm at a teller and said, “I have a gun, give me cash.”
Authorities said the employee handed over $1,100 in cash to the culprit, who exited from the TD Bank and headed eastbound on Canal Street.
Regarding the Union Square incident, cops said the suspect pointed a firearm at the 42-year-old man on board the N train as it neared the station at about 4:57 p.m. on Oct. 25, and demanded the victim’s cellphone. When the victim began to pull out the phone from his pocket, cops said, the crook opened fire, striking the man in the left thigh.
Law enforcement sources said the shooter fled out of the N train empty-handed after it stopped at Union Square.
Quick-thinking officers tended to the victim’s injuries, wrapping a tourniquet around his injured thigh to stop the bleeding. EMS rushed the man to Bellevue Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
Police described the perpetrator as a man believed to be 40 years of age with a slim build, standing about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, with a dark complexion, a bald head and facial hair. He was last seen wearing a blue face mask, a black hooded jacket and black pants while carrying a green backpack.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts 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.