The NYPD was searching for a person of interest after a shooting in Times Square that injured two women and a 4-year-old girl on Saturday afternoon.

According to the NYPD, the shooting happened around 5 p.m. at 44th Street and 7th Avenue. 

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a press conference Saturday evening that the shooting appears to have been the result of a dispute between 2-4 men. During the dispute, one of the men pulled out a gun and fired. 

The three people wounded were not involved in the initial dispute. 

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The youngest victim is a 4-year-old girl from Brooklyn who was in Times Square to buy toys with her family.  She was shot in the leg and was set to undergo surgery at Bellevue Hospital.

The second victim is a 23-year-old female tourist from Rhode Island who had come to New York to see the Statue of Liberty.

The third victim was a 43-year-old woman from New Jersey.  She was shot in the foot.

Both women were also at Bellevue Hospital.  All of the victims are expected to survive. 

Police also released a surveillance video of a person of interest they are seeking in connection to the shooting.

“Thankfully, these innocent bystanders are in stable condition,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a tweet. “The perpetrators of this senseless violence are being tracked down and the NYPD will bring them to justice. The flood of illegal guns into our city must stop.”

Parts of Times Square were shut down by police as authorities investigated. Drivers were told to expect traffic delays and road closures. 

Police say they recovered three shell casings, but no gun.

“We have been taking guns off the street in New York City at an alarming rate over the last two years, and it’s time now that we have consequences for those,” Commisioner Shea said. “How many kids have to be shot before we take this seriously? …How many more kids do we need to be shot before we realize that bad policies have consequences?”

NYPD: Shootings, assault, overall crimes surge in April

The shooting is yet another incident in a shocking rise in gun violence throughout the city. According to statistics released earlier this week by the NYPD, the city saw shootings increase by a jaw-dropping 166% in April 2021, as compared to the same month last year. In the same time frame, overall crime has also risen by 30%. 

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