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Times Square Shooter Apprehended In Florida

Jacksonville, FL – The street vendor who shot a four-year-old girl and two other innocent bystanders when he was shooting at his brother in Times Square on Saturday was arrested in Jacksonville on Wednesday morning.

New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Dermot Shea had implied during an earlier press conference that police believed 31-year-old Farrakhan Muhammad had left the state, the New York Daily News reported.

“There is not a place on earth that this individual can hide from the members of the detective bureau,” Commissioner Shea told WPIX before news of Muhammad’s arrest had been announced. “We will bring him back to New York City and he will face justice.”

Law enforcement sources said that U.S. Marshals and the New York-New Jersey Fugitive Task Force captured the fugitive in Jacksonville where he was hiding with a girlfriend.

He had been on the lam for four days, WPIX reported.

Three innocent bystanders – including a toddler – were caught in the crossfire when Muhammad started shooting at his brother in Times Square, the Big Apple’s most iconic intersection, just before 5 p.m. on May 8.

The incident occurred after four men – two of whom were brothers – started arguing at the intersection of 44th Street and 7th Avenue, WABC reported.

Police believe that Muhammad was engaged in a turf war with his brother, who is also a street vendor, the New York Daily News reported.

Authorities said Muhammad pulled out a gun and started shooting.

But Muhammad didn’t hit his intended target and instead, his bullets struck three other people, including a four-year-old girl who was toy shopping with her parents, WABC reported.

All three victims were transported to Bellevue Hospital for treatment.

The four year old – who was later identified as Skye Martinez – was shot in the leg, according to the New York Post.

She was immediately taken into surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.

One of the other victims – a 23-year-old female tourist from Rhode Island – was shot in the thigh, WABC reported.

Marcela Aldana, a 43-year-old mother from New Jersey, was shot in the foot, the New York Daily News reported.

“I didn’t think they’d catch him so fast,” Aldana said. “People aren’t going to be in danger anymore. He can’t be out on the street with guns.”

Aldana told the New York Daily News she was surprised that Muhammad had made it all the way to Florida after the shooting.

“I’m surprised, because Florida,” she said. “I thought they’d get him in New York.”

Aldana is scheduled to have surgery to remove the bullet from her left foot on Thursday, the New York Daily News reported.

“I don’t know how long my recuperation will take,” she said.

Police identified the gunman after they found video of a man who looked like Muhammad while investigating an unrelated stabbing at a hotel on West 31st Street, the New York Daily News reported.

The man in the video turned out to be Muhammad’s brother and he told police that the Times Square shooting had resulted from a fight over spots where they sold their illegal goods.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed on Monday that NYPD would track down the shooter, the New York Daily News reported.

De Blasio also promised to deploy more officers to Times Square, an area already heavily patrolled by NYPD.

“It was a horrible incident. We never want to see one like it again,” the mayor told reporters.

De Blasio said the additional officers would serve as “an extra measure of protection,” the New York Daily News reported.

Police said Muhammad had a history of illegal vending in Times Square, WPIX reported.

No details have been released yet about Muhammad’s charges or plans to extradite him back to New York City.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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