Authorities are continuing to investigate a shooting that wounded a bystander in Times Square on Sunday. The incident, which follows another daylight shooting in the “Crossroads of the World” last month, prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to promise that the city would “flood the zone” with police officers.
“It is just an unacceptable state of affairs,” he said during his Monday press briefing. “This is a place that is precious and so important to New York City. It has to be safe, so we are adding additional officers.”
Around 5:20 p.m. on Sunday, police say that a group of people got into an argument near 45th Street and Broadway, and one man fired a gun. One of the bullets ricocheted and hit a 21-year-old man who did not appear to be involved in the dispute, according to police. The wounded man, who suffered a gunshot wound in the back, was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition. The suspect fled east on 45th Street.
WANTED for an Assault: On Sunday June 27, 2021 at approx. 5:15 P.M., in the vicinity of West 47st. and 7th Ave. @NYPDMTS a unknown individual shot a 21 year old innocent bystander causing serious injury Call @ 800-577-TIPS or DM NYPDTips Reward up to $3500 pic.twitter.com/j199kR3iYj
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) June 28, 2021
Fifty more officers will be stationed in the vicinity of the shooting, the mayor explained, as part of a “Times Square Safety Action Plan.” Another measure will be to increase enforcement around illegal vending. NYPD Chief of the Department Rodney Harrison said they were still investigating a motive, something they are looking into is “aggressive panhandling of CDs… or street dancing.”
“We have more and more tourists coming back. They have to be safe and they have to feel safe. We are going to ensure Times Square is very clearly well-patrolled,” he said.
Harrison also described working more with the Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Transportation, and Times Square Alliance to increase safety, in addition to bringing in undercover officers. Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance, told the NY Times, “We were up until the shooting very optimistic about our progress. We really are two steps forward and maybe a half step back.”
The wounded man is a recent graduate of the Citadel, Samuel Poulin, who was apparently visiting relatives. Citadel President General Glenn Walters said. “We are encouraged that he is reported to be in stable condition are sending our prayers and our love to his new wife and his family.”