(FiveNation.com)- A mass shooting in New York City resulted in three innocent bystanders being shot.
On Saturday afternoon, a man was arguing with three other people when he opened fire into a crowd in Times Square. Police sources said that three other innocent bystanders to that argument were shot while they were toy shopping. One of the victims was a 4-year-old girl.
The shooting began around 4:55 p.m. Saturday, outside of 1515 Broadway, near West 44th Street in Manhattan. The shooting surprised even some cops who are becoming to get hardened to shootings like this.
Dermot Shea, the NYPD commissioner, said:
“How many kids have to be shot before we take this seriously? We just had a 1-year-olds homicide cleared this week. How many more kids need to be shot before we realize that bad policies have consequences?”
Police said the 4-year-old girl was hit in her left leg by a bullet. Also shot was a 43-year-old woman who sustained a gunshot wound in the left foot, and a 23-year-old woman who sustained a gunshot wound in her right thigh.
Shea said that the 4-year-old child, who is from Brooklyn, was in Times Square shopping to buy toys.
The 23-year-old was identified as Wendy Magrinat from Rhode Island. She was in New York City to see the Statue of Liberty. Unfortunately, she missed her ride there and decided to go to Times Square instead.
Magrinat was shot while she was waiting in line with her family at the BT21 store. Luckily, her husband was holding their 2-year-old child when Magrinat was shot.
She told local station WNBC:
“I started screaming, asking for help. It was really scary. Thank God it didn’t break my bone, but it did go inside. The doctor said he wouldn’t do any surgery or take out the bullet. It would do more damage.”
The 43-year-old was identified as Marcela Aldana of New Jersey.
Only seconds after the shooting began, the area in Times Square was nearly completely empty, as livestream video footage shows. People immediately began running away from the area, and parents grabbed their children and shouted as they ran away.
Those who were injured in the shooting were immediately given medical aid by emergency vehicles that rushed to the scene. All three shooting victims were rushed to nearby Bellevue Hospital. Police sources said all are expected to survive the incident.
Shea said the reason for this shooting, and others like it in New York City, is the proliferation of illegal guns that are everywhere in the five boroughs. At a press conference, he said:
“We need action and we need policies regarding laws to have consequences for that policy. We’ve gone over it many times. I think you’re seeing it play out, and it’s time.”
Police believe that the shooter fled the scene on public transportation. He was captured on nearby surveillance video, which police released to the public.
Some officers recognized the shooter, who hasn’t been publicly identified yet, as a local street hustler. They believe he was either selling drugs or CDs in Times Square before the shooting on Saturday.