A battle amongst a number of males in Occasions Sq. on Saturday led at the least considered one of them to tug out a gun and open fireplace, injuring two girls and a 4-year-old woman, the police mentioned.
The woman, who was toy purchasing along with her household, was shot within the leg and anticipated to outlive, as have been the 2 girls, a 23-year-old vacationer from Rhode Island, who was additionally shot within the leg, and a 43-year-old from New Jersey, who was shot within the foot, the police mentioned.
The victims, who didn’t know each other, have been taken to Bellevue Hospital Heart after the taking pictures at about 4:55 p.m. close to Seventh Avenue and West forty fifth Road, the police mentioned. The woman was present process surgical procedure on Saturday night, the police mentioned.
“Fortunately these harmless bystanders are in steady situation,” Mayor Invoice de Blasio mentioned on Twitter. “The perpetrators of this mindless violence are being tracked down and the NYPD will convey them to justice. The flood of unlawful weapons into our metropolis should cease.”
Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea mentioned the police have been searching for details about one “particular person of curiosity” and believed there was at the least one gunman.
He mentioned it was too early within the investigation to say what kind of dispute may need preceded the taking pictures, though he mentioned it appeared that two to 4 males had been concerned.
“It was instantaneous,” he mentioned of the taking pictures, including that an officer close by had heard 4 to 5 pictures. No gun was recovered, he mentioned.
By about 6:40 p.m., close by streets have been totally barricaded to site visitors and most pedestrians. Retailers and eating places on the middle of Occasions Sq., like Starbucks, Hole and Taco Bell, had emptied out.
An eerie silence fell over a lot of the blocks within the quick space, interrupted solely by conversations among the many dozens of officers who stood from forty second Road as much as at the least forty seventh Road.
A lot of the preliminary scenes of confusion and concern that had unfold on social media within the minutes after the taking pictures had dissipated. Occasions Sq. was anticipated to reopen to the general public in a while Saturday evening.
The taking pictures got here amid an increase in gun violence in New York Metropolis that has been sustained since early within the pandemic.
At the least 463 folks have been shot within the metropolis this yr, in keeping with police knowledge, up from 239 over the identical interval in 2019 and 259 in 2020. Town was largely shut down, with fewer pedestrians on the road, at first of the pandemic final yr.
The taking pictures was a rarity for the quick space round Occasions Sq.. A lot of the gun violence has been concentrated elsewhere.
As town nears a full reopening, some officers have anxious that gun violence might make it tougher to draw guests.
“It worries you when it occurs at someplace as public as Occasions Sq.,” Rosario Duran, 26, mentioned on Saturday.
Ms. Duran had arrived in New York Metropolis three days in the past from Chicago to go to her sister. She was not within the space throughout the taking pictures however mentioned the information was jarring.
“I’m nonetheless glad I got here,” she mentioned. “I’m simply going to be extra cautious.”
Movies and photos posted on social media after the taking pictures confirmed a helicopter circling above the neighborhood and officers combing by a restaurant. The Broadway present “Come From Away” mentioned on Twitter that “everybody within the Schoenfeld, Golden & Sales space theaters are all secure.”
Occasions Sq., well-known for its throngs of vacationers, had grow to be virtually vacant throughout the pandemic final yr. Nevertheless it has lately began to draw crowds as town has loosened restrictions, vaccinations have elevated and coronavirus case numbers have fallen.