A 21-year-old man was shot once in the back on Sunday afternoon in Times Square in a brazen act of violence in one of the city’s best known tourist destinations, according to a New York City Police Department spokesman.
The man was in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital, the police said.
The shooting took place shortly after 5 p.m., near Seventh Avenue and West 46th Street, officials said.
The victim was not the intended target of the shooting, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss an ongoing investigation. Six men were arguing near the area when one of them pulled a gun and fired several shots, the official said. One of the bullets struck the victim, who was walking with his family.
By 7 p.m., activity in the area had returned to normal, with tourists stopping only to snap photos of the billboards in Times Square or take curious glances at the officers lining the streets. One tourist, who said he did not feel comfortable providing his name, said, “I saw a SWAT van earlier, but other than that, nothing.”
The shooting, about a block from where a 4-year-old girl and two women were shot last month, comes as New York City has had a rise in shootings over the past year. The suspect in that earlier shooting was arrested days later in Florida. That episode helped make crime a central issue in the closing days of the Democratic primary for mayor. As votes continue to be counted, a former police captain who vowed to tackle the issue head-on is leading the field of candidates.
As of June 20, 777 people have been shot throughout New York City in 680 shootings, according to department crime figures online. That is an increase of 48 percent in the number of victims compared with the same time last year, in 53 percent more shootings, according to the Police Department.
The area by Seventh Avenue and 46th Street is surrounded by Broadway theaters, many of which temporarily closed their doors during the coronavirus pandemic and are now preparing to reopen. Bruce Springsteen’s one-man show at the St. James Theater, about a block away from the site of the shooting on Sunday, reopened on Saturday.
Ashley Wong and Ali Watkins contributed reporting.