A Marine was struck by a stray bullet when gunfire erupted in Times Square in broad daylight on Sunday, the New York Police Department and other sources said, according to the New York Post.
Marine Samuel Poulin, 21, was walking near the Marriot Hotel on West 45th Street and Broadway with his wife, sister, and brother-in-law when a ricocheting bullet struck him in the back around 5 p.m.
The Post reported that one man started shooting from a sidewalk after a dispute between two groups turned violent. The surveillance photo released by the NYPD shows the suspect holding his gun out in the middle of the crowded and popular tourist destination.
Witness Sydney Santana said the Marine was speaking with emergency personnel prior to being transported to Bellevue Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Sources said one of Poulin’s relatives pulled the bullet out and gave it to law enforcement.
Police posted an image of the suspected gunman on Twitter, asking for any information leading to his arrest.
“WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know this guy? On 6/27/21 at approx 5:15 PM, in the vicinity of 45th St and 7th Ave in Manhattan, the suspect discharged a firearm, striking a 21-year-old male bystander in the back,” the NYPD tweeted. “Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS.”
“We were sitting at Juniors when a loud pop happened and everybody ran for the hotel. They ran inside,” said Santana.
“The police instantly marked off both sides of the street and they told us we couldn’t go anywhere,” said Santana, who is visiting from New Orleans.
Poulin is doing “fine,” one unidentified relative of the Marine told The Post.
“I’m going to the hospital right now to see him,” the woman said.
Poulin recently graduated with honors from The Citadel, a South Carolina military college.
On Monday, The Citadel released a statement on the incident.
“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,” said The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.). “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.”
The shooting took place just one block from where a similar incident left three people injured on May 8. At the time, surveillance footage caught a heroic female cop running through the tourist hub while carrying a 4-year-old child who was wounded after being struck with a stray bullet.
“The news of another shooting in Times Square, in broad daylight, is a chilling reminder of the rising threat of gun violence across our city,” mayoral hopeful Eric Adams said in a Sunday night statement.
“The spike in victims and incidents are not just statistics on a report; the trauma and bloodshed are real. We cannot have a real economic recovery from COVID-19 if our centers of business and tourism are perceived to be unsafe,” said Adams.