A 16-year-old boy with an arrest history, including for alleged gun possession, surrendered Wednesday to face charges in a wild Times Square shooting in which a stray bullet struck a young Marine visiting the city with his wife and family, authorities said.
The suspect, identified by police sources as Avon Darden, was accompanied by his mother when he turned himself in to cops at the Midtown South Precinct station house. He was charged with attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.
Police sources said Darden has three prior felony arrests, one of which was a gun possession charge.
The June 27 shooting was sparked by an argument between rival breakdancers, police said.
But when the gunman opened fire, a bullet ricocheted off the ground and hit Samuel Poulin, 21, in the back as he and his wife and family were walking near the Marriott Hotel on W. 45th St. near Broadway.
Poulin, who recently graduated The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. with a Marine Corps commission, was hospitalized but not seriously injured.
In the aftermath of the young Marine’s shooting, panicked bystanders in the Crossroads of the World fled the area — which was just steps from the spot were 4-year-old Skye Martinez and two other adults were also hit by stray bullets on May 8.
Martinez and her family had been shopping in Times Square when alleged gunman Farrakhan Muhammad fired off shots at his brother, but instead hit Skye in the leg and wounded two adults.
The May shooting was also sparked by a vendor turf war.
On Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo declared the spike in shootings across New York a statewide “disaster emergency” and announced a seven-tiered plan which will allocate $138.7 million for gun violence intervention and programs.
The order will permit the state to distribute money and other resources to areas hit hardest by gun violence, Cuomo said. More than $75 million of the sanctioned funds will go toward creating jobs and community activities for youth in areas prone to gun violence, gangs and criminality.
“If you can beat COVID, you can beat gun violence,” Cuomo said at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan Tuesday. “We’re in a new epidemic, and it’s gun violence, and it’s a matter of life and death also.”
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