Manhunt underway, more NYPD cops deployed after Times Square shooting

The NYPD continues to look for the suspect who shot three people, including a 4-year-old girl, after an argument in Times Square.

WABC logo
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Times Sq. shooting person of interest at large
More officers have been deployed across the world-renowned tourist destination as police try to reassure people.

TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The NYPD continues the hunt for the 31-year-old person of interest in connection with Saturday's shooting in Times Square that left three innocent bystanders, including a 4-year-old girl, wounded.

More officers have been deployed across the world-renowned tourist destination as police try to reassure people after a man starting shooting Saturday afternoon into a crowd of people.

31-year-old Farrakhan Muhammad remains at large.

Muhammad is known to frequent the area, passing off bootleg CDs. He has been arrested several times over the last few years.

He was charged Oct. 17, 2018 with previously harassing a 25-year-old woman on the phone and sending her threatening text messages.

On March 17, 2018, he was arrested for aggravated harassment in Midtown and on March 14, 2020, he was arrested for assault in Midtown.

Between 2007 and 2015 he was arrested seven other times on various charges including robbery, grand larceny and fraud.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said it is only a matter of time before he is caught.

Late this morning, de Blasio said the high profile shooting won't stop the city's recovery, despite the fact that three innocent bystanders were shot, including a 4-year-old girl who was out toy shopping with her parents, a tourist from Rhode Island, and a 43-year-old woman

"I'm sad, I'm really sad whenever there's an incident," the mayor said. "But I do not think it changes the basic view that people around the world have of New York City - that they know it's an extraordinary place and they want to be here."

The mayor said he does not believe that shooting is indicative of larger problems.

The city has a lot riding on tourism. Visitors spent $67 billion in 2019.

Today you can also expect to see additional police in the city's 20 largest subway stations in addition to those additional officers in and around Times Square.

But despite the NYPD's deployment of more highly-trained critical response command officers, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea says he is not convinced more cops would have stopped Saturday's shooting.

"Clearly deployment is a piece of this equation," he said. "But again, I spoke to one of the officers. He was literally feet away, a block away. He put it over (on the radio), responded immediately. You see how many cops were in that area."

RELATED: Times Square shooting renews calls for change to curb violence

Saturday's Times Square shooting renewed calls for change to curb the rising violence in the city.

Regarding the shooting victims, de Blasio announced Monday that all three are out of the hospital and "it looks like they will make a stronger recovery."

Alyssa Vogel was identified by police as the officer carrying the 4-year-old child to the ambulance after the shooting. She spoke out about the incident on "GMA."

The 4-year-old underwent surgery and is expected to be OK.

Her grandmother expressed gratitude to Eyewitness News on Monday that the young girl was already out of the hospital.

Eyewitness News caught up with 23-year-old tourist Wendy Magrinot on the phone.

A tourist shot when bullets rang out in Times Square[/url] on Saturday afternoon said she thought she'd never see her 2-year-old daughter again.

She said she thought she was going to die.

"I was able to run like five steps and I told my mom to take the baby and run," Magrinot said. "I saw a police officer and I screamed to him, 'I'm shot, I have a 2 year old, I don't want to die, please help me."

She also says she has no plans to return to New York City anytime soon.

Marcela Aldana, who was shopping with her daughter when she was shot, said her prognosis is good, but she has no idea when she can return to work to provide for her family.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the shooting was "more damaging" because it is higher profile.

"Times Square, high publicity, more people have heard about it," Cuomo said. "Times Square is a tourist destination. Times square is iconic New York City. Was it more damaging? Yes, only because it communicated to more people."

Cuomo added that real New Yorkers already "know there is a crime problem."

"Did it tell the people of NYC anything new," Cuomo asked. "No, no, that's why this is all a game. You take the subway, you know there is a crime problem. You live in NYC, you watch any newspaper, watch any news show for the past months, you know there is a crime problem. And now it happened in Times Square that may translate to more tourists, but i don't think it made a difference for New Yorkers."

New York has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country, but Police Commissioner Dermot Shea says more is needed.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

MORE NEWS: NYPD officer describes saving 4-year-old girl in Times Square shooting

Officer Alyssa Vogel describes running through Times Square with the 4-year-old shooting victim to "Good Morning America."


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More Manhattan news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a News Tip