Gunfire erupted inside the Times Square subway station at 49th Street and 7th Avenue around 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday, in an incident involving a panhandler and a 40-year-old woman. According to the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the situation escalated when a man intervened in the dispute, resulting in the man allegedly firing a gun.
Reports indicate that although shots were fired, there were no injuries. The NYPD is actively seeking the alleged shooter, while the panhandler has been detained with charges pending.
A Close Call and Quick Response
In a startling development at the 49th St. subway station, a suspect allegedly attempted to rob a woman by threatening to steal her purse at the emergency exit near the turnstiles. This incident caught the attention of a bystander, who confronted the robber and fired two shots. Remarkably, no one was harmed.
The NYPD identified the suspect in the attempted robbery as Matthew Roesch, 49, who was subsequently arrested and hospitalized for observation.
The Escaped Gunman
The search continues for the gunman, described as carrying an olive green backpack and a tote bag from B&H Electronics. Authorities have released a security camera image of the suspect, urging anyone with information to come forward.
This incident raises concerns about subway safety, despite Mayor Eric Adams’ efforts to increase NYPD presence in the subway system.
Rising Gun Arrests and Ongoing Subway Challenges
Under Mayor Adams’ administration, gun arrests in the NYC Subway have soared by 94% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Despite increased police presence, challenges persist, including fare evasion and vandalism.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) faces significant financial losses, prompting fare increases and the emergence of toll collectors who allow passengers to bypass payment for a fee.