The New York Police Department accidentally shot two bystanders in Times Square on Saturday night during a confrontation with an unarmed man who was running around in traffic.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the unidentified 35-year-old man "was blocking traffic and appeared to be attempting to be hit by cars when a police officer on foot patrol attempted to take him into custody in the intersection.”
The man resisted arrest on W 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue. He stuck his hand into his pocket, took out his hand, held up like a gun, and pretended to fire on the officers. That’s when NYPD opened fire.
A 54-year-old woman using a walker, who was not involved in the altercation, was shot in the knee and taken to Bellevue Hospital. A 35-year-old women was grazed in the buttons and rushed to Roosevelt Hospital.
At 9:41 p.m. Saturday, a bystander tweeted an image of the 54-year-old lying on the ground, according to Gawker.
“Omg just witnessed NYPD gun down a pedestrian in Times Square,” wrote Kerri Ann Nesbeth.
Three shots were fired at the man, but all of them missed.
One witness told the Daily News that the suspect didn’t appear to be in his right mind.
“He definitely looked like he was high on something or was mentally off. He couldn’t walk in a straight line. He was limping and jerking his legs around,” said Mike Favilla.
“It was unreal,” said Favilla. “I’ve lived in New York City all my life and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
A grainy video uploaded to Youtube shows the NYPD point guns at the man, who is weaving in and out of traffic. Three shots are fired and the crowd on the sidewalk runs for cover.
“Don’t shoot him no more!” a witness shouted, according to the New York Daily News.
Nesbeth said she heard two shots and then the woman standing next to her fell to the ground.
“Blood was just leaking out of her pants,” Nesbeth said. “She was crying out in pain and yelling, ‘Help me!’”
The suspect was hit by several cars. He was eventually tasered, fell to the ground, and was subdued by police.
“The only thing the individual had on his person was a wallet which was recovered from his right rear pocket,” Commissioner Kelly said.
A mentally ill man carrying a knife was shot and killed by the NYPD in Times Square last year.