NEW YORK — A 19-year-old woman died after a gunman shot her during an attempted robbery at a Burger King in East Harlem early Sunday morning, the NYPD said.
The teen, identified by police as Kristal Bayron-Nieves, was working as a cashier inside a Burger King near East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue around 12:50 a.m. when a man entered the eatery, flashed a gun and demanded cash, police said.
When the gunman tried to remove cash from the register, a manager and a customer intervened, at which point he punched the manager in the face and pistol-whipped the customer, the NYPD said.
During the struggle, the gunman fired his weapon, shooting Bayron-Nieves in the torso, police said.
Bayron-Nieves, who lived in East Harlem, was taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, where she was pronounced dead, the NYPD said.
Police are still searching for the gunman, who fled the Burger King after the shooting. The NYPD released a photo of the suspect late Sunday morning.
In a statement provided to NY1, Burger King said the East Harlem outpost was "fully cooperating with local authorities on this matter."
Our hearts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the team member involved in the tragic event that occurred at this location," the chain said. "As this remains an ongoing investigation, we’re not able to comment further or share additional details."
Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday said he planned to offer assistance and condolences to Bayron-Nieves' family.
"Just think about it. A 19-year-old girl was shot while in a fast food location doing her job, and every time, I hear people just don't understand how these guns are destroying lives, and I am really troubled about it," Adams said. "And I am going to continue to staff up with the right team to deal with the gun violence in our city."
"This is not only professional. It is personal," he added. "That family is traumatized, and I am going to reach out and give them the support that is needed."