Police are continuing to search for those involved in the Times Square shooting that left three bystanders wounded on Saturday. Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced that "additional NYPD resources" will be deployed to the area "to add an extra measure of protection."
According to multiple reports, police sources suggest that the person of interest was aiming for his brother, apparently after they had gotten into an argument.
The shooting took place just before 5 p.m., at the corner of 44th Street and 7th Avenue, right by the ViacomCBS building at 1515 Broadway. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said that officers in the area responded to the incident and found three people—a 43-year-old woman from New Jersey, a 23-year-old woman from Rhode Island, and a four-year-old girl from Brooklyn—with gunshot wounds.
One of the victims, Wendy Magrinat, 23, had been waiting with her family, including her husband and toddler, outside the Line Friends store at the corner of 45th Street and 7th Avenue. One of the bullets fired hit her in the leg. "I was literally screaming on the floor, ‘I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I have a 2-year-old,'" Magrinat told the Daily News. "When I got shot I told my husband to run because he had my baby girl."
She told the NY Post that doctors decided against removing the bullet from her thigh—"So I live with a bullet in my leg." They reported that the dispute arose from street vendors selling CDs.
The little girl hit by a bullet, identified as Skye Martinez, didn't seem to realize what happened. Her aunt, Danae Romero, said in an interview with the Post, “She didn’t feel anything. Even when we noticed when we were at the corner, she wasn’t crying." Later, they realized she was bleeding.
Skye and her family had also been waiting outside the Line Friends store, and the bullet apparently "just entered and then exited" her left leg. Officer Alyssa Vogel put a tourniquet on her before carrying her and running to an ambulance. Calling Skye "the strongest person I have ever seen," Vogel explained the urgency of the situation to Good Morning America: "When there is a gunshot wound up on your thigh, there are arteries, and you didn't know if an artery was hit or not. So I was just wanting to make sure she got to the hospital as soon as possible."
The third victim, Marcela Aldana, reportedly had surgery to remove a bullet that struck her in the left foot.
Vijay Dandapani, head of the Hotel Association of New York City, told Gothamist/WNYC that city officials need to confront the incident as they also promote the reopening of activities. "Every tourist, before they set out, looks to see, 'Is it a safe place? Will I get robbed? Will I get mugged? Will I get shot and killed?'" Dandapani said. "These are factors that need to be addressed head on."
"What happened was unacceptable," de Blasio said of the shooting during his Monday press conference. "This individual is going to be found and found soon and he will pay the consequences."
However, he stressed that the city has been addressing gun violence in the communities and that the bigger task was to "bring back the city" and jobs and activities, which he said would reduce crime and violence. "People want to come to the city. it is an overwhelmingly safe city when you compare it to cities around the world," de Blasio said. Tourism is already coming back... In the end, our job is to keep bringing back this city."
According to the NYPD, there have been 448 shooting incidents in the city through Saturday, which is up sharply from 241 incidents by this point, a year ago.
Additional reporting from Arun Venogopal