Three New York City teens were wounded after heated words turned into gunfire in iconic Times Square Monday night.
New York police said officers responded to a call about a male victim shot at West 42nd Street and 7th Avenue at approximately 11:47 p.m. Monday near Red Lobster.
The heavily trafficked area was designated as a “gun-free zone” by the city in October. Nevertheless, responding officers found a 15-year-old mailed with a gunshot wound to the leg and an 18-year-old male who was also shot in the leg at the scene, the New York Police Department said.
Emergency Medical Services were sent to the crime scene and transported the two victims to NYC Health and Hospitals/Bellevue, officials said.
A third male victim, 17, was later discovered with a graze wound to his shoulder. According to the NYPD, he was taken to NYC Health and Hospitals/Harlem by private means.
All three victims were said to be in stable condition.
“A preliminary investigation determined that the three male victims were engaged in [a] dispute with an unknown individual in front of 5 Times Square,” an NYPD spokesperson said. “The suspect discharged a firearm striking the victims. The suspect fled on foot.”
The NYPD said the suspect who shot the three teens was wearing dark clothing and a brown backpack, FOX 5 NY reported.
Officers recovered ballistic evidence at the scene, and a section of 41st Street was shut down as police continued to work the area.
No arrests have been made, and an NYPD investigation is ongoing.
The shooting in the middle of Times Square comes after NYPD took credit for a decrease in shooting incidents overall in New York City. On July 6, NYPD reported a 16.8% decrease in shooting incidents for June 2023 compared to the same month last year (104 v. 125). The declining numbers extended a 24.7% decrease in shooting incidents citywide for the first half of calendar 2023 compared to the same period last year, with 196 fewer people being shot (482) this year compared to last year (636).
The police department credited its gun violence reduction strategies and New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ policies with the overall decrease in shootings.
Adams signed legislation in October that declared Times Square a “gun-free zone” following the adoption of a statewide law that bans guns from “sensitive places,” including schools, playgrounds and Times Square. The U.S. Supreme Court permitted New York’s law to take be enforced in January as a challenge brought by gun rights activists works its way through lower courts.
Fox News’ Landon Mion contributed to this report.