New York police fired on a man who was acting erratically Saturday night at a busy midtown intersection in Manhattan, wounding two bystanders, according to social media and news media reports.
“OMG just witnessed NYPD gun down a pedestrian in Times Square,” Kerri Ann Nesbeth, a witness to the shooting, wrote on Twitter. She posted a photo of a man, in blue jeans and a white T-shirt, sprawled on his back on the sidewalk, blood apparently staining the fabric around his right knee. The man is reaching up to hold what appears to be a walker.
“This cannot be happening in front of me,” she wrote in another Twitter post.
CBS New York reported that the man appeared to be emotionally disturbed, acting erratically and running in and out of traffic. The station quoted a witness to the shooting as saying, “The guy was, like, wandering in the street like he was lost — and he was a pretty big guy.” He added: “He looked like he was on something.”
Officers tried to corral the man, the witness said, but he resisted. “He dove in front of a car and it almost ran him over,” said the witness, who was not identified by name.
Gunfire ensued and two bystanders were hit. They were taken to a hospital for treatment.
It was not clear if the man, who was taken into custody, sustained any injuries.
The incident occurred about 9:30 p.m. outside the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, on 8th Avenue near 42nd Street.
Slightly more than a year ago in another part of Manhattan, nine bystanders were wounded when New York police officers opened fire on a man who had just killed a former colleague outside the Empire State Building.
In that incident, captured on surveillance cameras on Aug. 24, 2012, Jeffrey Johnson, 58, pumped five bullets into 41-year-old Steve Ercolino on the sidewalk of West 33rd Street near Fifth Avenue. Police fired on Johnson after he pointed his .45-caliber handgun at them.
None of the bystanders wounded in that incident was seriously injured. At the time, authorities said that three of the pedestrians suffered bullet wounds and the others “were struck with fragments of some sort.”