A person of interest is being questioned in connection with a shooting outside New York's Penn Station earlier this week that left a bystander wounded, according to a high-ranking law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the investigation.
The person who was wounded was a 58-year-old bystander who happened to be walking in front of the NJ Transit entrance near West 31st Street and Seventh Avenue, right near the entrance to Madison Square Garden, at peak evening rush.
Only one shot was fired. Someone had apparently refused to give the gunman food inside Penn Station a short time earlier, which prompted the shooting outside. The man who was wounded was not the intended target and only had been working in the city for about three months when he was shot, authorities have said.
"The shooter comes up to the man eating food downstairs, possible asking for some food. He's kind of shunned away, and that spills onto the street," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said earlier this week. He added that the shooter and the victim, neither of whom have been identified, knew each other previously.
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Cops have been looking for the shooter since. It's not clear if the person being questioned Thursday is that individual. Sources with direct knowledge of the investigation tell News 4 they recovered the gun used in the shooting in a sanitation transfer station in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on Tuesday.
They believe the gunman dumped the weapon in a garbage pail near Penn Station and it was removed over the course of regular sanitation efforts, sources say. Cops also believe the gunman may work in the Penn Station area, the sources said.
A taxi dispatcher said the victim, who is recovering from his injuries, had no idea he had been shot when he flagged down a police officer for help.
"The cop ripped his shorts off and said he got shot. I said, 'That was a gunshot?'" dispatcher George Harris said.
A quick-thinking NYPD detective nearby, Nicholas White, used to be an EMT. He made a tourniquet after seeing the wound and stopped the bleeding, possibly saving the man's life, authorities have said.
The gunman was described as being a man wearing a black and red backpack who was last seen wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, and black and white sneakers. See photo provided by the NYPD of the suspected gunman below.
Shea said that he's confident the suspect will be found — and when that happens, the commissioner wants the shooter to face the consequences, a continued push by the city's top cop for stiffer penalties to help curb gun violence.
"We need people to be held accountable when they carry guns, we need when they're caught carrying guns to go to jail and feel that," Shea said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).