Two women and a 4-year-old child were shot in Times Square in New York City on Saturday afternoon, and the New York Police Department said a manhunt was underway for a person of interest who fled the scene.
According to witnesses, two to four males got into a dispute. At least one pulled out a gun, shooting the child, who was toy shopping with her family, a 23-year-old female tourist from Rhode Island and a 46-year-old woman from New Jersey, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a news conference.
The child and the 23-year-old were shot in the leg, and the older woman was shot in a foot.
All of the victims were innocent bystanders, and none were known to each other, Shea said. All were taken to Bellevue Hospital and were expected to survive.
The shooting occurred around 5 p.m. ET at 44th Street and Seventh Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, according to the New York Police Department.
The investigation was continuing. A portion of Times Square was shut down as police continued to investigate.
Hours later, the NYPD released video footage showing a suspect. Shea said he had "no doubt" the suspect would be caught shortly.
Three shell casings that appeared to be .25 caliber were recovered, Shea said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio attributed the shooting to a "flood of illegal guns" in the city.
"Thankfully, these innocent bystanders are in stable condition," de Blasio wrote in a tweet. "The perpetrators of this senseless violence are being tracked down and the NYPD will bring them to justice. The flood of illegal guns into our city must stop."
Shea said he was "very concerned" about the proliferation of guns in the city, and his officers had been taking guns off the street at an "alarming rate," but it was time for those with illegal firearms to "face punishment."
Shea also again decried the city's relaxing of criminal justice policy, which have included ending cash bail, ending "broken windows" policing, and police reforms, such as chokehold ban that also bans sitting or kneeling on a suspect's chest or back during an arrest.
"How many kids have to be shot before we take this seriously?" Shea asked reporters.
The shooting was one in a series as gun violence and crime increase in the city. Shootings spiked 182% in the last week, compared to the same period last year, according to the NYPD.
The week prior, gun violence was up 253%. That same week, nearly every crime – including rape, murder, and robbery – jumped when compared to the same seven-day period one year ago.
Hate crimes went up a whopping 85%, and murders rose by 40%, the NYPD’s crime statistics show.
De Blasio has insisted crime numbers will fall once criminal courts are fully back open at the end of May – even with bail reforms that critics say make it far easier to send criminals back onto the streets.
The New York Post reported a spike in March as well – which saw a 33% increase in murders, 125% more rapes and a 97% jump in grand larcenies.
And last year, the city reported that it saw as many shootings in 2020 as the prior two years combined.
Fox News Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.