Police are searching for Farrakhan Muhammad, the prime suspect in the Times Square shooting, which rocked New York Saturday night. The 31-year-old suspect was allegedly targeting his brother, but instead shot three innocent bystanders, including a 4-year-old girl from Brooklyn.
Muhammad typically sells bootleg CDs in Times Square, and he was charged with an assault last year. Police uncovered video footage of the tragic incident, and they suspect Farrakhan Muhammad intended to shoot his brother after a heated confrontation. Police are searching for the suspect who is still at large.
The victims included a 4-year-old Brooklyn resident, a 23-year-old tourist, and mother, and a 43-year-old woman from New Jersey, all of which are expected to survive the shooting. Each sustained non-life-threatening injuries and are being treated at Bellevue hospital.
The little girl was shopping for toys with her family when the shot punctured her leg. The brave officer, identified as Alyssa Vogel, quickly wrapped the wound in a tourniquet before sprinting across Times Square with the girl in her arms.
When asked about her bravery, Vogel insisted on bringing attention to the little girl. “This little girl is the strongest person I have ever seen,” Vogel said during her Good Morning America interview. The officer and mother is likely the factor that saved the girl’s life, containing blood loss and rushing the 4-year-old to the hospital before things took a turn. The girl underwent surgery over the weekend and is expected to make a full recovery.
The other two victims were extremely fortunate, but the 23-year-old tourist, Wendy Magrinat, will be forced to keep the bullet lodged in her leg for the rest of her life. Thinking she was going to die, Magrinat said that “I was able to run like five steps and I told my mom to take the baby and run. I saw a police officer and I screamed to him, ‘I’m shot, I have a 2-year-old, I don’t want to die, please help me.”
Magrinat explained that “the doctors said they wouldn’t do any surgery or take out the bullet, just because it would do more damage.” The tourist from Rhode Island will be forced to live with the memory forever and admitted she doesn’t expect to come back to New York for a long time.
Police are trying to locate Farrakhan Muhammad, who has not yet been arrested. Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke out about the Times Square shooting, calling for the end to illegal firearms. “The perpetrators of this senseless violence are being tracked down and the NYPD will bring them to justice,” he tweeted Saturday. “The flood of illegal guns into our city must stop.”
Two other frontrunners in the mayoral race – Eric Adams and Andrew Yang – made statements. Adams, who is the Brooklyn borough president, was the first to visit the scene in Times Square late Saturday.
“We’re not going to recover as a city if we turn back time and see an increase in violence, particularly gun violence,” he said in a statement, speaking on New York’s tumultuous history with chaos, violence, and guns.
Another mayoral candidate, Andrew Yang, made comments in support of the NYPD. “My fellow New Yorkers, if there’s one thing I want to say to you it is this: Nothing works in our city without public safety, and for public safety, we need the police,” Yang explained. “My message to the N.Y.P.D. is this: New York needs you. Your city needs you.”
Yang continued, saying “the truth is that New York cannot afford to defund the police.” Recent protests and rallies have called for such actions, with police brutality and racial profiling at the center of attention in recent months.
Whether the Times Square shooting will spark genuine policy change or will act as a political pedestal for candidates is still unknown. Just yesterday Aventura Mall in Florida was under fire, wounding five. At least two schools faced gun violence as of late, one in Rigby Middle School Thursday, and another outside of Smyrna Middle School. The recent violence has Joe Biden pleading for change, as well as millions of voices across social media.