NEW YORK--A woman remained hospitalized, two police officers were put on desk duty, and a 35-year-old man was facing several criminal charges Monday after a shooting near Times Square that officials say was prompted by the man’s desire to commit suicide by getting himself run over.
The man, Glenn Broadnax, 35, of Brooklyn, was not injured in the Saturday night chaos, which erupted a block from the heart of Times Square on the corner of 8th Avenue and West 42nd Street. Broadnax was charged Sunday with menacing, riot, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and other charges.
At a briefing outside Bellevue Hospital, where a 54-year-old woman shot in the leg was facing surgery, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly described a chaotic scene that began about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, when Broadnax began running amid traffic on 8th Avenue.
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Broadnax, whom Kelly described as emotionally disturbed, "appeared to be attempting to be hit by cars." Video taken by a tourist in the busy area showed him darting back and forth in the street among cars and buses.
Two officers on foot patrol approached Broadnax and tried to take him into custody, at which point Broadnax "put his hands in his pockets, took out his hand, and simulated shooting," said Kelly. The police officers opened fire: one fired once, and the other fired twice, as bystanders screamed.
Neither cop hit the target, though. Kelly said the 54-year-old woman was hit in the leg and would require surgery. A 35-year-old woman was grazed by a bullet and did not require hospitalization. Both women live in Manhattan.
Broadnax was carrying a wallet but no weapons. Police eventually used a Taser to subdue Broadnax, who they said had several prior arrests and who was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance following the shooting.
Neither officer has been on the force long. One has 1 1/2 years in the department and the other three years, and as is routine following a police-involved shooting, both were put on desk duty while officials investigate whether the gunfire was justified.
One witness, Mike Favilla, told the New York Daily News that Broadnax pulled a Metro Card out of his pocket and "aimed it at the cop ... he was pretending like he had a gun." Favilla and other witnesses said it was clear Broadnax was emotionally disturbed.
"He definitely looked like he was high on something or was mentally off," Favilla told the Daily News. "He couldn't walk in a straight line. He was limping and jerking his legs around."
Video captured by passersby showed Broadnax, who stands 6-feet-5 and weighs 295 pounds, zigzagging in the middle of the street and at times appearing to nearly stagger.
"Oh my God! Get down, get down, get down!" one man is heard yelling as the shots rang out and panicked passersby screamed in fear and scrambled for cover. "Don't shoot him no more," another person cried out.
The incident conjured up memories of two shootings by police last year that occurred in full view of bystanders in midtown Manhattan. In one incident, near the Empire State Building, several passersby were injured when police opened fire on a gun-wielding man who had just shot to death his former employer. The man was killed.
A few days later, police chased a knife-wielding man several blocks from Times Square to 37th Street after he had threatened an officer and shot him to death on the street.
Neither of the officers who fired at Broadnax on Saturday had been involved in a shooting in the past, Kelly said. The commissioner also said that it did not appear Broadnax had been hit by any vehicles.