NYPD searching for man police say opened fire in Times Square, injuring bystander

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By Dan Sears

An alleged shoplifter opened fire in Times Square Thursday night, striking an innocent bystander and attempting to shoot a police officer as he fled, according to NYPD officials.

In a briefing at the scene, NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell said the incident unfolded just after 7 p.m., when a female security guard from JD Sports confronted the alleged thief in the lobby of the store on the corner of Broadway and West 42nd Street.

After the guard retrieved the stolen property, Chell said the suspect took out a gun and fired one shot at her. He missed, but hit a 38-year-old tourist in the leg who was also shopping at the store.

The suspect, wearing all white, then fled the store with another man in a blue jacket. Police caught up with them on 47th Street and 7th Avenue, and were able to arrest the suspect in the blue jacket, Chell said, but the alleged shooter kept running.

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Chell said an officer chased him to the alley that runs under the News Corp building on West 47th Street and 6th Avenue. Once there, Chell said the suspect turned around and shot once at the officer, then ran further and fired a second shot.

“Our officer draws his weapon but he cannot fire, there are too many people around , too many people ducking,” Chell said.

The suspect ran into the subway station on West 46th Street and 6th Avenue, where police have video of him going onto the tracks before coming out without his white jacket on.

“That is the last we have seen of him,” Chell said. “We have numerous resources scouring this area looking for that male.”

Police described the alleged shooter as a young man between the ages of 15-20, wearing a white t-shirt and sneakers. As of Friday morning, they were still looking for him.

The suspect in a blue jacket was brought to the precinct for questioning, police said, and a third man who was seen inside the sports store with the two suspects was still unaccounted for.

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Police said the injured tourist was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.

The last shooting in Times Square happened Halloween night, when a 16-year-old was shot in the shoulder in front of the famed Sardi’s restaurant.

This is a developing story and may be updated.

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