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Venezuelan Migrant Identified as Times Square Shooting Suspect

A teenage migrant gunman who shot a woman at a Times Square clothing store Thursday night before opening fire on New York City police officers was taken into custody Friday afternoon following a brief manhunt.

Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figureoa, 15, was taken into custody around 3:30 p.m. by the U.S. Marshals Service in Yonkers, New York, just north of the Bronx, without incident. NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said the suspect has a family connection to the suburb.

“The shooting incident last night in Times Square was way beyond reckless,” Caban said at a Friday evening news conference to announce the arrest. “In the middle of the busiest, mostly highly-trafficked part of the city, a criminal with a firearm decides to pull the trigger.”

At an earlier news conference, authorities said the teen was living in a temporary shelter after migrating from Venezuela. He entered the U.S. in September and was staying at the Stratford Arms Hotel, which houses migrants, said NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell.

Rivas-Figureoa was part of a trio — two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old — that entered a JD Sports store on West 42nd Street and Broadway and grabbed some clothes before attempting to leave. A security guard confronted them and recovered the merchandise, Chell said.

“At this time our suspect takes out a .45 caliber handgun… shoots at her into a crowd,” Chell said.

Rivas-Figureoa missed his intended target and a 38-year-old woman visiting from Brazil was struck in the leg by gunfire, police said. The unidentified woman was in line to purchase a pair of sneakers and ran and hid in the back of the store, authorities said.

Two of the teens fled the location and one of the 15-year-old’s was arrested by responding officers.

Another officer chased Rivas-Figureoa.

“You saw the video. He turns once, fires towards our officer,” Chell told reporters. “Our officer takes his gun out. He cannot return fire. There’s too many people in his way.”

As the foot chase continued, the shooter fired again at the officer and fled into a subway station and onto the tracks before coming up to the street, authorities said.

The 16-year-old was arrested on Friday morning. Investigators are still trying to determine the arrested suspects’ alleged roles in Thursday’s shooting.

The woman shot was grazed by a bullet, a Brazilian official with knowledge of the situation told Fox News Digital. She was treated at a local hospital and released, police said.

She is expected to return to Brazil on Saturday, the official said.

“The Police Department was very, very resourceful and kind to the lady and really offered a lot of support,” the official said. “The mayor’s office has not reached out, but I don’t think there’s any need because she was not seriously injured as the Police Department was very supportive. She’s completely well and this is not a big issue.”

During his briefing, Chell praised the actions of the police officer who was fired upon for not returning fire in the densely populated area.

“Our cop showed great restraint not to fire their weapon into a crowd of New Yorkers,” he said. “His training dictates you have to be prudent when you’re going to fire your weapon.”

“We’re the most restrained police department in the world, and we proved it last night,” Chell added.

The officer was not harmed.

“It’s really as reckless as we’ve seen,” Jason Savino, of the NYPD Detective Bureau, said Friday evening.

In addition to Thursday’s shooting, Rivas-Figureoa is suspected in an armed robbery in the Bronx and a shots-fired incident in Midtown Manhattan, Chell said.

The shooting came nearly two weeks after a group of migrants attacked a pair of NYPD officers, also in Times Square. Several suspects in that case have been indicted, but only one is being held in custody.

He noted that some Venezuelans have posed a public safety risk as the city continues to struggle with an influx of migrants.

“We saw the moped robberies and snatches. We see pockets being picked in Times Square and on the subway. We see some groups going into stores… and stealing property,” he said.

READ 16 COMMENTS
  • Possum love says:

    All I can say is to vote Republican come election time , or more people will fall victim to criminals

  • Quasimodo 2020 says:

    First they need to make it illegal for a non citizen to purchase or posess a firearm in the united states, and second a non citizen who committs a crime using a firearm in the united states should get an automatic death sentence. They are not citizens and should be held to a far more severe penalty then american citizens are simply because they came to our country to prey on american citizens.

  • Lynda says:

    Lawyer should help her sue NYC, anyone coming to NYC should be ready to sue, you might end up dead

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