Three teenagers were injured when a verbal altercation escalated into a shooting in the heart of New York City’s Times Square on Monday night. The NYPD responded to a distress call about a male victim shot near the Red Lobster restaurant at West 42nd Street and 7th Avenue.
The police found two male victims, aged 15 and 18, with gunshot wounds in their legs. The Emergency Medical Services rushed the victims to NYC Health and Hospitals-Bellevue.
A third victim, a 17-year-old male, was later found with a superficial wound on his shoulder. He was privately taken to NYC Health and Hospitals-Harlem. All victims are reportedly in stable condition.
The NYPD’s preliminary investigation suggests that the victims were engaged in a dispute with an unknown person near 5 Times Square. The suspect allegedly opened fire at the victims and escaped on foot. The suspect was reportedly wearing dark clothes and carrying a brown backpack.
The police collected ballistic evidence from the scene and temporarily sealed off a section of 41st Street for further investigation. The investigation is ongoing, and no arrests have been made so far.
This incident comes amidst reports of a significant decrease in shooting incidents across New York City. The NYPD reported a 16.8% drop in shooting incidents in June 2023 compared to the same month last year. The first half of 2023 also saw a 24.7% decrease in shooting incidents citywide compared to the same period in the previous year. The NYPD credits this decrease to its strategies to curb gun violence and the policies of Mayor Eric Adams.
In October, Mayor Adams enacted legislation that designated Times Square a “gun-free zone”, following a statewide law that prohibits guns in “sensitive places” such as schools, playgrounds, and Times Square. Despite opposition from gun rights activists, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the enforcement of New York’s law in January.