Cops are searching for the gunman who shot three people, including a four-year-old girl, after a dispute turned violence in Times Square on Saturday afternoon.
Law enforcement sources said the shooting happened at about 4:55 p.m. near the corner of West 44th Street and 7th Avenue.
“We had police officers in the area at the time that immediately put over a call for shots fired, and responded about a block to the scene,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a press conference on Saturday night.
Police said the three victims were bystanders struck after an unidentified gunman opened fire. Two women, ages 46 and 23, and a four-year-old girl from Brooklyn shot in the leg. Each suffered gunshot wounds to their bodies. It appears all of the victims were not known to each other, Shea noted.
The girl was at Times Square with family shopping for toys, the commissioner said. She’s now scheduled to undergo surgery.
The 23-year-old woman is a tourist from Rhode Island who was visiting the city, while the 43-year-old woman hails from New Jersey, according to Shea. The Rhode Island woman was struck in the leg, while the New Jersey victim took a bullet to her foot.
EMS units rushed the victims to Bellevue Hospital for treatment of their injuries, which were not considered life-threatening.
Dramatic video posted on social media showed tourists running for their lives after the shots rang out.
— FDNY Response Videos (@FDNYRespVids) May 8, 2021
Both victims were taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment; police sources said their injuries are not considered life-threatening at this time.
In a tweet, Mayor Bill de Blasio described the victims’ condition as stable. He noted that the NYPD is working hard to find the shooter, and condemned the flow of illegal guns into the five boroughs.
“Thankfully these innocent bystanders are in stable condition,” de Blasio wrote. “The perpetrators of this senseless violence are being tracked down, and the NYPD will bring them to justice. The flood of illegal guns into our city must be stopped.”
Shea said that the investigation remains very active. Three shell casings, believed to be .25-caliber, were recovered from the scene.
“There is no gun recovered at this point in time. Obviously, we’re very concerned about the proliferation of guns not only in this incident, but throughout New York City the last couple of years,” the commissioner said. “We have been taking guns off the street in New York City at an alarming rate over the last two years, and it’s time now that we have consequences for those.”
“How many kids have to be shot before we take this seriously?” Shea added.
— Dean_Moses (@Dean_Moses) May 9, 2021
Officers from the Midtown South Precinct are now scouring the Times Square area looking for the shooter. On Saturday night, they released an image and security video of a person of interest involved in the shooting.
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 nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.
With reporting by Dean Moses