According to two law enforcement officials, New York Police Department investigators are looking for a 31-year-old man they believe is the shooter who injured three people in Times Square over the weekend.
According to law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, the man intended to shoot his brother when he opened fire on Saturday, injuring a 4-year-old Brooklyn girl and two female tourists.
All three are now out of the hospital, and “it appears that they will make a strong recovery,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference on Monday.
According to law enforcement sources, police have not discovered a motive at this time.
According to one source, members of the Regional Fugitive Task Force, an elite group made up of US Marshals and federal officers, are looking for the man.
According to the second source, police have spoken with the man’s brother, who the first source claimed was the intended target.
During the investigation, police discovered that the man they are looking for had previously distributed CDs to tourists in Times Square and asked them for money, according to one source.
The mayor beefs up police presence in Times Square.
Times Square will see an increased NYPD presence, according to De Blasio, with more officers from the NYPD’s Critical Response Command team.
“I think it’s important to show that presence to people; I think it’s reassuring and helpful,” the mayor said.
He called for gun control measures in Washington to help prevent guns from entering the city.
“This should not happen in our city, and there are many ways we can address it. Some of them we can handle here, while others require outside assistance, according to de Blasio. “We need Congress to assist us in stopping the flow of firearms into New York City.”
Shootings and gun violence exploded in New York last year and are expected to rise further in 2021. According to the NYPD’s city crime statistics, shooting incidents have increased by 83 percent this year through May 2 compared to the same period last year.
De Blasio called the weekend shooting “unacceptable,” but he did not believe it would have a significant impact on tourism in the city.
“In the end, people want to come to this city because it is overwhelmingly safe,” said de Blasio. “The city is clearly coming back; people are starting to come here much earlier than I expected. Already, we are seeing a resurgence of tourism… Finally, our job is to keep bringing this city back and showing people what a wonderful place it is to live.”
According to police, three shell casings were discovered at the scene.
The shooting happened around 5 p.m. Saturday near 45th Street and 7th Avenue, according to police.
Multiple witnesses told police that the shooting was the result of a street brawl involving two to four or more males, and that at least one person pulled out a gun during the brawl, said police Commissioner Dermot Shea on Saturday.
The gun was not recovered, but police discovered three shell casings from a.25-caliber gun at the scene, according to Shea.
The 4-year-old Brooklyn girl was shot in the leg. She was with her family at the time of the shooting and was scheduled to have surgery at Bellevue Hospital, according to Shea.
A 23-year-old Rhode Island tourist was also shot in the leg. A 43-year-old woman from New Jersey was shot in the foot as the third victim.