Police are seeking Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, who allegedly tried to shoot his brother when he fired bullets into a crowd, hitting two women and a young child
The NYPD cop filmed saving the life of a wounded toddler hit by a Times Square gunman’s stray bullet has described the moment she ran the child to safety.
Officer Alyssa Vogel is being hailed a hero after a video showed her clutching Skye Martinez as the shots rang out Saturday.
Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, is the prime suspect in the shooting, which left three people including four-year-old Martinez wounded, and hundreds of terrified shoppers and tourists fleeing for their lives, The New York Post reports.
Officer Vogel said Sunday: ‘I kept telling her [the child’s mom] to breathe, that I know what she’s going through because I have a baby myself. It was very difficult for her, very traumatic. She saw her daughter just get shot.
‘I kept telling her to breathe and that her daughter was going to be OK. I kept trying to calm her down because she was obviously very scared.
Former school teacher Vogel joined the NYPD four years ago. Her father, husband and brother are also cops.
She told The New York Post: ‘This little girl was so strong. She didn’t even cry once except when we were putting the tourniquet on. She screamed because it’s very painful.
‘I just picked her up so I could run to the ambulance. She was just saying she wanted her mom. Her mom was running right behind me, but she was calling for her mother.’
Vogel said she then ran into the hospital with the injured child, adding: ‘I just wanted to join the police department and help people.’
Police are still hunting for the suspect, who reportedly sells CDs for a living. He was allegedly aiming for his brother, who later gave his name to authorities.
Detectives made the connection to Muhammad when they approached a man on West 31st St in Manhattan on Sunday believing that he looked like the wanted man, The Post reported. ‘I’m his brother,’ the man told the detectives.
Police have since released Muhammad’s mugshot and are appealing for help in locating him. Muhammad was arrested last year on suspicion of assault.
A hero NYPD officer clutches a young child who has just been shot in Times Square on Saturday and spirits them to safety
Officer Alyssa Vogel, pictured, was named as the NYPD officer who ran Skye Martinez to safety
The suspected gunman leaving the scene shortly after the Times Square shooting on Saturday, in which two women and a young child were shot
Victims have been describing the scenes of panic and confusion as they tried to evade the gunfire.
Muhammad allegedly opened fire in the crowded tourist zone in midtown Manhattan after getting into a heated argument with his brother, sending hundreds of people fleeing for their lives.
The shooting occurred in front of the theater that hosts the hit musical Lion King, which is currently closed due to Covid restrictions.
A Rhode Island woman has told how she collapsed in a pool of blood after she was shot.
Wendy Magrinat, 23, on a sightseeing trip from Rhode Island, was shot in the leg as she stood in line for the Line Friends store on Broadway just before 5pm with her husband Yoel, their 2-year-old daughter Elise, and her mother, stepfather and 8-year-old sister.
She said she heard a fight break out between several men standing close by.
She and her husband tried to move away but before she could get to a safe distance, she was shot in her right thigh.
‘I just covered it and ran a little, just to get my daughter and my family to safety — but I couldn’t. The pain was too much, and I dropped to the floor,’ she told The Post.
Magrinat started screaming ‘I don’t want to die, please help me!’, but says onlookers began filming her with their mobile phones rather than help.
‘I understand … people get in shock. But if you’re in shock, you shouldn’t be recording. But that’s how people are right now,’ she told The Post.
Police lock down the scene following a shooting on Saturday in Times Square
The shooting occurred in front of the theater that hosts the hit musical Lion King (seen in the background above as police lock down the scene
Luckily, the bullet missed arteries, bone and muscle, and Magrinat says she is expected to make a full recovery. Her daughter and husband were unhurt.
Danae Romero, 16, said she was waiting in the queue at the same store with her 4-year-old niece Skye Martinez when the shooting began.
Romero said the pair ran for their lives – but Skye was struck by a stray bullet.
‘She didn’t feel anything. Even when we noticed when we were at the corner, she wasn’t crying,’ Romero told the Post.
It’s not clear if the young girl being rescued by the NYPD officer in the viral video is Skye Martinez.
Romero said Skye, who is from Brooklyn, had managed to stay calm throughout the ordeal, and was in a stable condition in hospital.
‘She’s pretty tough, I guess,’ Romero told the Post.
‘She’s always been happy. There aren’t many times when she cries and stuff,’ she said.
She said her sister, Skye’s mother, was in a state of shock after the shooting.
New York City police officers stand guard after Saturday’s shooting
Three innocent bystanders, including a mother and her four-year-old girl, were struck by stray bullets in Times Square in broad daylight
Andrew Yang has pledged to establish a new ‘anti-violence plain clothes unit to reduce guns and gun violence’. ‘The police will be key to our recovery,’ he said.
NYPD officers responded to the shooting at 4.55pm on Saturday near the intersection of West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan
She called on police to arrest the gunman quickly.
‘What if he ends up hurting some more people? ‘Cause if he’s able to do it in a place where there’s so much people like Times Square and not care, what’s going to stop him from doing it again?’ she said in an interview with the Post.
A third victim, New Jersey woman, 43-year-old Marcela Aldana, was shot in the foot. All victims are expected to recover.
Magrinat, who had been in New York for a family reunion, said she had lost a lot of blood after being shot in the leg.
As she begged for bystanders to help get her daughter Elise to safety, she said a crowd of people around her began filming.
She said she was bustled into an ambulance along with 4-year-old Skye, and rushed to hospital.
Surgeons decided against removing the bullet in her leg immediately, to avoid causing more damage, and are keeping the 23-year-old dosed up on painkillers.
During the ordeal, Magrinat was terrified that her daughter Elise might have been harmed.
But she says the 2-year-old was too young to understand what was going on, and when she saw her parents run, she laughed, thinking it was all a game.
The NYPD released pictures of the man suspected of carrying out the shooting.
Addressing the Times Square shooting, NYC mayoral candidate Andrew Yang said public safety was ‘paramount’ and promised to establish a new ‘anti-violence plain clothes unit to reduce guns and gun violence’.
‘The police will be key to our recovery,’ he said.
It comes as gun violence soars in New York City, and marks the second time in a month that bullets have flown in Times Square, the crowded tourist hotspot
The public is asked to avoid the area at this time and expect traffic delays and road closures
It is the latest shooting to rock the tourist hotspot at gun violence soars in New York City
NYPD officers canvas the scene for evidence after the shooting on Saturday in Times Square
On Saturday, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said none of the victims were related or known to each other, and that they are believed to be innocent bystanders who were struck by stray bullets after a man got into an argument with someone else and began shooting wildly.
Shea said Magrinet and her family had traveled from Rhode Island to Manhattan to visit the Statue of Liberty, but finding the ferry closed decided to visit Times Square instead.
A traffic camera on the scene caught the moment that the crowd of tourists fled in terror as the shots rang out.
NYPD investigators recovered three shell casings at the scene, which appear to be .25 caliber, Commissioner Shea said.
The shooting unfolded after two to four men got into a dispute, and at least one of the men pulled out a gun and began firing, Shea said.
He said that none of the victims who were shot were involved in the dispute, and that they all appeared to be innocent bystanders.
Mayor Bill de Blasio reacted to the shooting on Twitter, saying he was glad the victims were in stable condition.
‘The perpetrators of this senseless violence are being tracked down and the NYPD will bring them to justice,’ he tweeted. ‘The flood of illegal guns into our city must stop.’
De Blasio, who was celebrating his 60th birthday on Saturday, did not join the police commissioner for a press conference at the shooting scene.
Asked about de Blasio’s remarks, Commissioner Shea said that his officers have been taking guns off the streets at an ‘alarming rate over the past two years.’
‘It’s time now that we have consequences for those,’ he added, seeming to refer to bail reform policies that see many suspects, including those caught with illegal firearms, walk free without posting cash bond.
‘How many more kids do we need to be shot before we realize that bad policies have consequences?’ said Shea. ‘We need action, and we need policies regarding laws to have consequences.’