New York City – Chaos erupted in Times Square last night when a tourist was caught in the crossfire during an attempted robbery at a sporting goods store.
Around 7:06 p.m., three unidentified male suspects, aged 15-20, were detained by private security at the JD Sports store at 1466 Broadway on the corner of 42nd Street. The suspects had allegedly been caught stealing merchandise.
As the guards attempted to apprehend the suspects, the situation quickly escalated. “The three suspects attempted to flee, and a guard gave chase,” the NYPD stated. In the commotion, at least one of the alleged thieves drew a firearm and opened fire towards the security guards.
Tragically, their shots missed their mark and instead struck a female Brazilian tourist who had been shopping in the store. The unnamed woman, an innocent bystander, suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.
Chaos in Times Square
After the initial shots were fired, the three suspects fled the JD Sports store onto 7th Avenue. According to Pix11 News, as they ran down the avenue, the armed robbers continued recklessly firing their weapons, shooting off two additional rounds as they made their escape.
Responding officers were soon on the scene but found themselves in a dangerous position. “Police were unable to fire on the suspects because there were too many civilians around,” authorities explained. With armed suspects on the loose in the densely crowded Times Square area, the NYPD was forced to urge people to avoid the area entirely while police locked down the zone to continue their investigation.
Eventually, officers could apprehend one of the three suspects after a brief foot chase. The two remaining robbers evaded police, and their current whereabouts remain unknown.
Plea For Information
The NYPD has described the two suspects still at large as males approximately 15-20 years old. Investigators are urging anyone with information about the suspects or incident to call the NYPD hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted anonymously via the NYPD Crime Stoppers website or by texting TIP577 to CrimeStoppers at 274637.
Times Square Crime Wave
This brazen daytime robbery and shooting has shed further light on the escalating crime wave that has gripped the Times Square area. What was once considered the bright, safe epicenter of tourism in New York City has seen numerous incidents of violence, thefts, and attacks on police officers themselves in recent months.
Just last month, several suspects viciously attacked NYPD officers near a homeless shelter on West 135th Street. In July, there was a fatal confrontation between a security guard and an alleged shoplifter at a CVS pharmacy in Times Square.
The incident last night has left many questioning whether Times Square still deserves its reputation as the “Crossroads of the World” or whether it has now become the corner of chaos and disorder in New York City. As police continue searching for the two suspects still at large, extra security measures will likely be taken to restore a sense of safety for locals and tourists alike.
The public is urged to remain vigilant of their surroundings when traveling through Times Square and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.