Startling video released by police Monday captures the moment a gunman opened fire in Times Square, wounding a Marine tourist as bystanders scrambled for safety.
“It’s just an unacceptable state of affairs,” Mayor de Blasio said Monday. “This is a place that is so precious and so important to our city. It has to be safe. We’re going to flood the zone to make sure people feel safe.”
The NYPD will assign 50 more cops to Times Square, he said. That follows the 80 sent there after a 4-year-old girl was shot and wounded nearby on May 8.
Sunday’s shooter held the gun in his right hand even as he fled the scene on Broadway near W. 45th St. outside the Minskoff Theatre about 5:15 p.m. Sunday, the video shows. He has not been caught or identified.
The 21-year-old victim, Samuel Poulin, was hit in the back and is stable condition at Bellevue Hospital.
The latest shooting — part of a yearlong surge in gun violence and just steps away from where a little girl was hit by gunfire last month — was triggered by an argument between two men, possibly street vendors or performers.
NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison says cops will target “aggressive panhandlers” and troublesome street vendors to a level they haven’t in the past.
“We’re going to make sure tourists don’t feel threatened,” he said.
Sunday’s gunman opened fire during what Harrison called a “heated argument.” The bullet ricocheted and struck Poulin, with a relative retrieving the bullet for police.
Poulin, who recently graduated The Citadel, the military college in Charleston, S.C., with a Marine Corps commission, was visiting the city from upstate with his family, including his wife.
On May 8, Skye Martinez, 4, and two adult bystanders were hit by stray bullets after they were caught in the middle of a vendor war between two brothers.
The accused gunman, Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, was later arrested in Florida.
Through Sunday, 826 people have been shot in the city so far this year, 37% more than the 606 victims during the same period last year. That has contributed to a 12% jump in homicides, with 212 slayings citywide this year compared to 189 by this last year.
Cops are asking the public’s help identifying the gunman in Sunday’s shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
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