Police presence at Times Square ramping up after Saturday shooting injures three

The scene at Times Square following a shooting on May 8, 2021.
Photo by Dean Moses

More NYPD officers will guard Times Square after three people, including a child, were injured during a shooting at the intersection on Saturday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. 

The department will deploy members of the Critical Response Command, a division of the NYPD focused on counterterrorism, at the popular tourist destination. It is unclear exactly how many additional officers will be deployed at the junction. 

“We’re putting additional NYPD resources in the Time Square area to add an extra measure of protection,” said de Blasio. ” You’ll see an additional presence. I think there may be some other areas as well where you’ll see that and it’s important to show people that presence, I think it is reassuring and helpful.”

The mayor assured visitors New York City is safe and argued recent spikes in gun violence will go down as more pandemic restrictions are lifted. “It is an overwhelmingly safe city. When you look at New York City compared to cities around the country, around the world, this is a very safe place and there’s more and more activity,” said de Blasio. “The city is clearly coming back. People are starting to come here much earlier actually than I thought they would. We’re starting to see tourism come back already. I thought it would go into the summer before we’d see that kind of come back.” 

Last month, de Blasio promised to fully reopen the city by July 1 roughly 15 months after the city was first shut down due to the novel coronavirus. 

On Monday, NYPD officers identified a suspect in Saturday’s shooting, Farrakhan Muhammad, who detectives believe was trying to shoot his brother, according to NBC News. Instead, the shooter missed and struct a 4-year-old girl in the leg as she was shopping for toys with her family and two tourists at the busy intersection. 

De Blasio commended the NYPD officers treated the victims on Saturday, one of whom sprinted to the injured child to tie a small tourniquet around her leg.  “I want to thank all the men and women of the NYPD who immediately on the scene to protect everyone there and to address the situation,” said de Blasio. “Thank God, the three people who were hit by the gunfire are all out of the hospital and it looks like they’ll make a strong recovery.”