2 injured in NYC ice rink shooting
NEW YORK — A teenager opened fired at a crowded Manhattan ice-skating rink, leaving two people wounded and blood splattered across the ice, after attempting to rob one of the victims of his coat, police said Sunday as they took the teen into custody for questioning.
The violence late Saturday at the Bryant Park rink sent skaters stampeding in all directions to safety. Authorities said a 14-year-old boy was struck in the back and a 20-year-old man was hit in the arm as the shooter opened fire in the popular park in midtown Manhattan, behind the main building of the New York Public Library. Neither injury was believed to be life-threatening.
Authorities said the shooter had approached the 20-year-old man at the Bryant Park rink and demanded his coat. The man refused to hand it over, and the shooter left. Police say the shooter then returned and started firing. Police believe the 20-year-old was the intended target and that he did not know the suspect. They said the 14-year-old boy was just an innocent bystander.
“It was terrifying; my legs were shaking,” said Raghuram Krishnamachari, who was dining with his family in a restaurant overlooking the park when they heard three shots being fired.
“We had a view of the whole thing, we saw it happening, and the first thing that came to my mind is, ‘It’s a crazy person with a machine gun and all he wants to do is kill as many people as possible,’” the Brooklyn man said.
Krishnamachari and his family barricaded themselves in a bathroom at the glassed-in restaurant and called 911.
Charges were pending against the teen, whose name authorities did not release.
On a mellow, sun-drenched Sunday, the rink opened as normal and the park was again filled with skaters and other visitors enjoying the pre-holiday vendor shacks and eating at outdoor tables.
Many had no idea there had been a shooting the night before.
“I’m surprised — absolutely surprised,” said Allen Targhi, a Manhattan shoe salesman who comes to the park almost daily.
“I expect peace and love and happiness in this park; it’s the reason I come,” he said as he lounged in the sun.