NEW YORK — An innocent bystander was shot inside a store in Times Square on Thursday when police say a shoplifting suspect pulled a gun on a security guard.
Police are still searching for the alleged gunman. He is described as a Hispanic male between the ages of 15-20, last seen wearing a white t-shirt, white pants and sneakers.
CBS New York has learned that the incident started around 7 p.m. when three individuals allegedly began shoplifting at JD Sports at 42nd Street and Broadway.
Police say a security guard stopped two of the individuals at the front door, asked them for their receipt, took their shopping bag and questioned them.
One of the individuals then allegedly pulled out a gun and fired at the security guard, but missed and struck a 37-year-old female customer in the leg.
The victim was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive.
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The two individuals then ran down to 47th Street and Seventh Avenue, where they were approached by two police officers. One individual was apprehended and taken to a local precinct for questioning.
The alleged gunman continued running down 47th Street toward Sixth Avenue, pursued by one officer. Police say the alleged gunman fired two shots at the officer while fleeing. The officer drew his weapon, but did not return fire due to the number of people in the area.
“Mid-block on 47th Street, there was a cut between the Fox buildings. As the perpetrator goes in there, he turns one time and fires at our officer. Our officer draws his weapon, but he cannot fire, too many people around. There’s too many people ducking. As the male in the white goes farther into the cut, under his armpit, he fires his second shot at our officer. Again, our officer does not return fire,” NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell said.
Police say the alleged gunman then fled into a subway station at 46th Street and Sixth Avenue and that video shows him running onto subway tracks before emerging from the subway system.
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The alleged gunman has not yet been found. The NYPD says they have crews searching the area.
Police say the third individual who was allegedly involved in the shoplifting incident is unaccounted for.
The area around 42nd Street and Broadway, including the entrance to the subway, remained close off late Thursday night.
The NYPD had Sixth Avenue between 47th and 51st streets closed off for hours as counterterrorism officers and K-9s searched the area, but it has since reopened.