10 February Report by: Adit Sarin
New York, NY – A 15-year-old suspect accused of shooting a Brazilian tourist in the leg in Times Square Thursday evening and firing at a police officer while fleeing has been apprehended just outside of New York City on Friday, according to police officials.
The teenager was taken into custody at a residential residence in Yonkers, believed to be linked to a family member, almost 24 hours after the incident that began in a sporting goods store and spilled out onto the bustling streets of Midtown Manhattan.
At a press conference announcing the arrest Friday evening, New York City Police Commissioner Edward Caban stated that it was an “absolute miracle” that no one was seriously injured in the shooting.
Police identified the suspect as a resident of a migrant shelter in New York who arrived in the city from Venezuela late last year. He is also considered a suspect in an armed robbery in the Bronx and a separate shooting in Times Square last month.
According to police, the shooter, dressed in all white, and two teenage companions were shoplifting a jacket from the store when they were confronted by a security guard. The altercation escalated when the teenager allegedly pulled out a .45 caliber handgun and fired at the guard, grazing a 38-year-old tourist in line.
The shooter and one of his companions fled the scene, but one of them was quickly apprehended by officers nearby. The shooter, however, continued to flee towards Sixth Avenue, where he fired at a pursuing officer before escaping into a subway station and eventually emerging onto the street.
Police credited surveillance footage and interviews with witnesses for leading to the suspect’s arrest on Friday afternoon.
The incident comes amidst heightened tensions in Times Square, with police urging visitors to remain vigilant but assuring that the area remains safe.
Crime rates in New York City have seen a significant decline since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with incidents like this one being relatively rare in the heavily trafficked tourist area.