Times Square Shooting: Marine visiting city struck in back with stray bullet
NEW YORK - A 21-year-old U.S. Marine visiting New York City was shot near the Marriott Hotel in Times Square on Sunday afternoon, according to the NYPD.
Authorities say the incident happened just after 5 p.m., and the victim, identified as Samuel Poulin, was in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. He was alert as he was rushed to Bellevue Hospital.
The violence erupted after a dispute between two groups when one of the men opened fire into a crowded street, according to police. Poulin was visiting from upstate New York with his wife, sister, and brother-in-law. The victim's brother-in-law pulled the bullet from his upper back.
The gunman, described by police as a man in his 20s, remains at large.
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"It's an unacceptable state of affairs," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a briefing.
The mayor promised an increased police presence moving forward in Times Square.
"The investigation is still ongoing and we will get to the bottom of this," NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said. "One of the things were are going to push a little further is engagement. Not just have the omnipresence but engage the individuals involved in this aggressive solicitation, aggressive panhandling."
The shooting is another in a rising tide of gun violence playing out across New York City that has spilled into the high-traffic tourist area of Times Square.
In May, police said Farrakhan Muhammad injured three people, including a 4-year-old girl, when he allegedly opened fire in the Times Square district.
Another tourist walking to his hotel was also shot in April.
New York City has seen a major spike in gun violence over the last year. According to statistics released by the NYPD earlier this month, the number of shootings in May jumped by nearly 75% compared to the same month last year.
The issue of gun violence and crime has become a major focus of the race to replace de Blasio as mayor of New York City. Both Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa and the current leader in the Democratic primary for mayor, Eric Adams, have said they are the candidate to stop the violence on the streets.
"If Black lives really matter, it can’t only be against police abuse," Adams said. "It has to be about the violence tearing apart our communities."