Increased police presence in Times Square following shooting of Marine
NEW YORK, New York- Over the weekend, a Marine was shot in New York City's Times Square and now an increased police presence can be seen in the popular tourist spot, ABC News reports.
The news outlet says 21-year-old Samuel Poulin, a new husband and 2021 graduate of The Citadel, happened to be in the vicinity of a small group of street vendors who were arguing near Broadway at the intersection of 7th Avenue and 46th Street.
Though Poulin was not involved in the argument, he just happened to be standing a few feet away when one of the vendors pulled out a gun and fired a single shot; the bullet struck Poulin and injured him.
When the shot was fired, tourists in the nearby crowd panicked, according to local authorities.
One eyewitness told reporters,"It was a loud pop. At first we thought it was a fire cracker. We did see about ten people running towards the hotel. [The victim] was moving. He was standing up, he was talking and then they put him on the stretcher."
The victim, Poulin, was grazed in the back by the bullet and rushed to Bellevue Hospital where he is expected to recover.
Since the incident, dozens of police officers have been assigned to patrol Times Square, NYPD Police Chief Rodney Harrison said at a press conference Monday.
"It's important that we put a lot more of a police presence over there," Harrison said.
As the nation reopens from its COVID-related restrictions and prepares for the upcoming July 4 holiday, an increased number of tourists are expected in the world famous Manhattan location. It's for this reason that officials want to ensure visitors feel safe.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio touched on this as he said, "We’re going to flood the zone. We're going to make sure Times Square is very well patrolled."
Meanwhile, no arrests have been made in the Sunday evening shooting that left the aforementioned young bystander injured, and police say an investigation into the incident remains ongoing.
A representative of Poulin's former military college issued a statement regarding the shooting, saying:
"The Citadel family – in Charleston, South Carolina and around the world – is greatly saddened to learn about what happened to our Class of 2021 graduate, 2nd Lieutenant Samuel Poulin in Times Square on Sunday when he was hit by a bullet from a shooting event unrelated to him."
"We are encouraged that he is reported to be in stable condition are sending our prayers and our love to his new wife and his family. 2nd Lieutenant Poulin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics, was a President’s List cadet and exemplifies the kind of principled leader The Citadel strives to produce."
Authorities confirmed that Poulin was the only person injured in the shooting and that he was not the intended target.
A witness who heard the shot while across the street told reporters the young man appeared to be with family or friends when he was injured.