NEW YORK (WPRI/AP) — Three innocent bystanders, including 23-year-old Wendy Magrinat, from Scituate, and a 4-year-old girl who was toy shopping were shot in New York City’s busy Times Square on Saturday afternoon when someone opened fire during a dispute between several men, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said. All the victims were expected to recover.
12 News anchor Kait Walsh spoke with Magrinat who said she was standing in line to get into a store with her husband, 2-year-old daughter, and mother when the shooting happened.
“I felt it in my leg, but there were more shots and my main concern was to get my daughter to safety,” she said.
“I didn’t tell anyone at the moment, I just held my hand where the hole was and left my hand there. I ran like four steps … and I couldn’t feel my leg that much.”
The shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m. near the intersection of West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue, police said. The suspects were still at large.
Shea said during an evening news conference that police have one person of interest they’re seeking to question. The police department posted video of the man walking away from the scene on its Twitter page.
“We have … from numerous witnesses that a dispute occurred on the street involving at least two to four people,” Shea said. “It is during this dispute that at least one person pulls out a gun.”
The 4-year-old girl, from Brooklyn, was expected to undergo surgery for a gunshot wound to her leg, Shea said. A 43-year-old woman from New Jersey was shot in the foot, he said. None of them is related to the others.
Surveillance videos posted on social media by the fire department show people running away from the scene after the shooting. What appear to be three gun shots are heard on audio from the videos.
Shea said an officer heard four to five shots and officers found three shell casings, appearing to be .25-caliber, at the scene.
Mayor Bill de Blasio called the shooting “senseless violence” and vowed the suspects will be brought to justice.
“The flood of illegal guns into our city must stop,” he said in a Twitter post.
Shea said city police officers have been seizing guns at an alarming rate over the past two years and he said “bad policies” were to blame. He declined to elaborate.
“How many more kids do we need to be shot before we realize that bad policies have consequences and we need action and we need policies regarding laws that have consequences,” Shea said.
City police officials previously have blamed bail reforms that went into effect last year for putting offenders back on the streets, but there’s little evidence people freed from jail are behind the new crimes.