Officials: Suspected Times Square shooter arrested in Florida

National

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA/WPIX) – The man suspected of opening fire in Times Square Saturday night, injuring three bystanders, has been found and arrested in Florida.

Officials with the New York Police Department say 31-year-old Farrakhan Muhammad was arrested without incident Wednesday in a McDonald’s parking lot, located at 802 South Walnut Street, in Starke, Florida.

NYPD Chief James Essig says Muhammad was in the company of his girlfriend, who was also a person of interest following the shooting, and two dogs.

Muhammad is now in the custody of the Starke Police Department and booked by the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Essig, Muhammad’s brother told police he was the intended target in this weekend’s shooting, however, it is unknown as to why he was being shot at.

“Through leads from the public via Crime Stoppers tips and other investigative measures, we were able to determine that Mr. Muhammad was traveling out of state and heading south,” Essig said.

Police say they received surveillance video showing Muhammad and his girlfriend at a Walmart in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Officials were also made aware of a few addresses in Florida in which they might’ve been heading to.

With the help of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, officials were able to find Muhammad in Florida.

In this image taken from video by the FDNY, pedestrians hurry away from the scene of a shooting in Times Square, Saturday, May 8, 2021, in New York. New York City police say three innocent bystanders including a 4-year-old girl who was toy shopping have been shot in Times Square and officers are looking for suspects. All the victims are expected to recover. (FDNY via AP)

Once Muhammad returns to New York, Essig said the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office will determine his charges.

Police say the gun from Saturday’s shooting has not been recovered and are asking for the community’s help in reporting any information that might lead to the discovery of the weapon.

On Saturday, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said the shooting victims were innocent bystanders and were unknown to each other.

One of the victims, a 4-year-old girl, was buying toys with her family when she was shot in the leg, Shea said. The young girl underwent surgery for her injuries at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.

The other victims include a 23-year-old woman visiting from Rhode Island, who was also shot in the leg, and a 43-year-old woman from New Jersey, who was shot in the foot.

According to Essig, all victims are expected to make a full recovery.

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