NYC police officer kills Times Square panhandler: reports
Black Friday begat Cyber Monday. Hopefully, a new tradition for holiday shoppers hasn’t sprouted on the first Thursday after Thanksgiving.
“Police pursuing a suspect in Times Square shot and killed the man after he fired on them in an area busy with holiday shoppers and passersby,” the Associated Press reports.
The wire service notes that New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne says “the suspect was killed at midday Thursday just outside the Marriott Marquis hotel”, which “is located in the Broadway theater district and near the heart of Times Square.”
The AP adds, “It is close to the Minskoff Theatre, home to the popular show ‘The Lion King.'”
The Daily News posted the following picture which shows police taking control of the scene after the shooting:
The Daily News adds, “The suspect, who is in his 30s, was blasted in the torso about 11:15 a.m. A second man was arrested, but not hurt.”
Sources said the sergeant, who was wearing his uniform, shot the gunman after the suspect fired his own weapon. It wasn’t immediately clear if he was firing at the sergeant or someone else. Police recovered a semi-automatic handgun from the scene – a parking area at the hotel on West 46th St., just off Broadway.
Police are investigating witness accounts that the man shot by police was a street peddler.
Times Square was bustling with tourists when shopping and sightseeing quickly to a backseat to chaos.
The New York Times reports, “A plainclothes police sergeant fatally shot a 25-year-old man Thursday morning outside the parking garage of the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square following a crackdown on street vendors who were using counterfeit CDs to intimidate tourists, the authorities said.”
The official said the police officers were looking into reports of peddlers who had intimidated tourists with a ruse: They would approach the tourists, ask them their names, write their names on the CDs and then demand payment of $10.
The official said that the officer was approaching two vendors who he believed were perpetrating the scam. One of them fled toward the parking garage. As the officer gave chase, the man fired twice, shattering two glass windows of the hotel. The officer returned fire, mortally wounding the man.