The Times Square shooter has been identified through surveillance video, but as of early Sunday morning the man had not yet been arrested. At about 4:55 p.m. on Saturday a 4-year-old girl and two adults were shot near 45th Street and 7th Avenue, according to New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea. The motive appears to be tied to a fight between nearby.
The three victims were rushed to the hospital after 5 p.m. Saturday, moments after the bullets flew. Of the injuries, none are expected to be life-threatening. One victim was a 23-year-old from Rhode Island on a trip to New York City – she was shot in the leg. The other – a 43-year-old woman from New Jersey – was shot in the foot.
The 4-year-old girl from Brooklyn was rushed to the hospital after she was hit by a bullet to the leg. She was shopping for toys at the time when the shot rang out, and first responders took her to the hospital. The girl had surgery when she arrived at the hospital. According to a report, all the victims are in stable condition.
Police have not identified a motive for the shooting, but several witnesses claimed that the incident started during a confrontation between a group of men. Witnesses say at least one of those men pulled a gun and opened fire.
It has been determined that the victims are unrelated and were likely innocent bystanders. The gun was not found at the scene, but police did uncover three shell casings from the .25 caliber firearm – bullets usually found in a pistol.
The shooting has reignited pleas for stricter gun laws by many Americans. Recent weeks have been filled with gun-related violence, including several mass shootings and hate crimes over the past few months. According to NY crime stats, since January, shootings have jumped 83 percent over the same five months last year.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea was very vocal Saturday regarding the endless stream of shootings recently, including the tragic incident in Times Square. “How many kids have to be shot before we take this seriously?” he asked. “We just had a 1-year-old homicide cleared this week.” Shea was referencing a 2020 shooting that left a baby boy dead while sitting in his stroller. Police arrested two Brooklyn gang members who were charged with homicide.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke out against senseless violence, 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.”
Authorities are questioning whether there are too many illegal firearms on the streets because of bad policies. Shea admitted that police officers have seized weapons at an alarming rate over the last two years. He did not confirm what policies he was referencing.
The Times Square shooting has shaken New York residents and tourists alike. Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have been hoping that tourism would return to New York City this summer. Covid-19 has decimated NYC tourism. Many restaurants around Times Square closed in 2020 and 2021. Broadway, the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera all shuttered their doors. And sports games in arenas had no fans in the stands until recently. This shooting won’t help inspire tourists to plan trips to the Big Apple the next few months.
The Times Square shooting happened hours after a 60-year-old was pushed onto New York City subway tracks, which Shea described as an “unprovoked assault.” “When is this going to end?” he asked during his statement. “How many more people have to be injured, pushed in front of a train or in this case a young four-year-old toy shopping shot?”