NEW YORK — The crossroads of the world came to a halt Saturday after two women and a child — all innocent bystanders — were shot.
Times Square was pretty crowded when shots rang out in the early evening, causing chaos and panic, and leaving bystanders shaken.
“I have a family with me and we was all there and I heard kids were shot and like I said, we went that way fast as we could,” said Rob Wright.
The shooting came as New York City continues to reopen for business amid relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. The city even began offering coronavirus vaccines to tourists this weekend.
Some in the area on Saturday blamed the gun violence on city leaders.
“It’s terrible because it shows you the state that New York is in and really hints toward a lack of leadership by any of our representatives who seem to not care about the repetitive events like these going around in our city,” said Jay Patel.
Mayor Bill de Blasio took to Twitter and promised justice for the victims.
“Thankfully these innocent bystanders are in stable condition,” he wrote. “The perpetrators of this senseless violence are being tracked down and the NYPD will bring them to justice. The flood of illegal guns into out city must stop.”
Mayoral candidate Eric Adams quickly called a news conference just outside the crime scene barricades.
“I have been talking about this on the [campaign] trail and I’m just disappointed. Am I the only candidate that’s running for mayor that understands that we can’t go back to violence and we can’t act like this is not happening in front of us,” said Adams.
Several other mayoral candidates reacted to the shooting on Twitter.
Times Square was shut down, roads were blocked and people were cleared out by police.
Deborah Coelho drove four hours from Boston to celebrate her daughter’s 10th birthday. She was disappointed she couldn’t show her the sights and visit the shops in Times Square.
“That’s scary,” she added. “Should I got to go back to my hotel? We already have enough. COVID has been going on for more than a year, that’s sad.”