A man was shot outside of New York's Penn Station Monday evening, police said, following a dispute inside the sprawling transit hub and police are now looking for the alleged gunman.
Officials said that there were reports of a single shot fired at the height of rush hour around 5:45 p.m. near West 31st Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, right near the entrance to the station and Madison Square Garden. At the crowded street corner, a 58-year-old man was walking in front of the NJ Transit entrance when he was struck by a bullet that was intended for someone else, according to police.
The incident stemmed back to an altercation inside Penn Station just shortly before, police said, when someone refused to give the gunman some food. The injured victim, who had been working in the city for three months, was not the intended target.
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"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. He added that the shooter and the victim, neither of whom have been identified, knew each other previously.
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 gunshot wound and stopped the bleeding, possibly saving the man's life.
The suspect fled down Seventh Avenue. Police describe him as a man who had on a black and red backpack and 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).