Two NYPD cops opened fire at a deranged man a block from Times Square — as he pretended to point a gun at them — but instead struck a pair of innocent bystanders Saturday night, police said.
The 35-year-old man was behaving wildly in the middle of W. 42nd St. at Eighth Ave. about 9:36 p.m. when he was confronted by the officers, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Kerri Ann Nesbeth via Twitter
Two bystanders were shot when NYPD police officers fired at a man on 8th Ave. and 42nd St. in Times Square on Saturday. A witness says this woman dropped to ground when the shots rang out.
As officers tried to corral the hulking wacko, he suddenly “reached into his pocket, took out his hand, and simulated as if he was shooting at them,” Kelly said.
One officer fired a single shot at the man but missed.
The suspect (in green shirt) can be seen hurling a cop who tried to stop him into the side of a parked car.
The second officer squeezed off two rounds that also went wayward, Kelly said.
The man was subdued moments after his tussle with the cop (left).
A 54-year-old woman who uses a walker was struck in the lower right leg and rushed to Bellevue Hospital.
A 35-year-old woman suffered a graze wound to the buttocks and was transported to Roosevelt Hospital.
An officer with his gun drawn at the scene near Times Square where the suspect (in background) was causing a disturbance.
The man, who was not identified, was arrested. He was unarmed when he was taken into custody.
“The only thing the individual had on his person was a wallet which was recovered from his right rear pocket,” Kelly said.
The massive man was seen stumbling in the middle of the street as a dozen cops surrounded him, some with their guns drawn.
The bizarre encounter just outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal took place after the man started stumbling around in the middle of Eighth Ave., Kelly said.
The suspect (in green shirt) was seen running away from police. Cop sources say he was 'agitated and flailing his arms.'
“This individual was blocking traffic and appeared to be attempting to be hit by cars when a police officer on foot patrol attempted to take him into custody in the intersection,” Kelly said.
Witness Mike Favilla told The News cops opened fire after the man put his hand into his pocket, pulled out a MetroCard and pointed it at the officers like it was gun.
Danny Iudici for New York Daily News
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly adresses the media at Bellevue Hospital after the police-involved shooting that occurred near Times Square on Saturday night. One of the bystanders injured at the scene was earlier taken to Bellevue.
“He aimed it at the cop,” said Favilla, 33, of Elmhurst, Queens. “He was pretending like he had a gun.”
Favilla said the man appeared unhinged. “He definitely looked like he was high on something or was mentally off. He couldn’t walk in a straight line. He was limping and jerking his legs around.”
As officers tried to corral the suspect (in green shirt), he suddenly 'reached into his pocket, took out his hand, and simulated as if he was shooting at them,' Kelly said.
A grainy video posted on YouTube shows two officers pointing their guns at the man as he weaves in and out of traffic. Then three shots are heard, and people on the crowded sidewalk start running for cover.
Police warn bystanders out of the way as they apprehend the man.
“Don’t shoot him no more!” a witness screamed.
A video obtained by the Daily News appeared to capture the tail end of the chaotic exchange.
Kerri Ann Nesbeth via Twitter
Police on the scene near Times Square.
The video showed a massive man — in a green sweatshirt, gray shorts and white sneakers — stumbling in the middle of the street as a dozen cops surrounded him, some with their guns drawn. The man started running and then hurled a cop, who apparently tried to cut him off, into the side of a parked car.
The man fell to the ground seconds later and the cops subdued him.
“Blood was just leaking out of her pants,” Nesbeth said. “She was crying out in pain and yelling, ‘Help me!’”
The shooting set off pandemonium. Dozens of people started sprinting away from the sound of the gunfire. Some ducked into stores. Others leaped down subway stairs, witnesses said.
“It was unreal,” said Favilla. “I’ve lived in New York City all my life and I’ve never seen anything like it.”