NEW YORK — Police are still looking for the person who opened fire in Times Square Sunday afternoon, hitting a U.S. Marine in the back, as Mayor Bill de Blasio announces an increased NYPD presence in the area.
The victim has been identified as Sam Poulin, 21, of Northville, New York, and a recent graduate of The Citadel, according to a spokesperson for the military college in South Carolina.
Authorities say he was shot in the back on Seventh Avenue in the area of 46th and 47th streets, right outside the Marriott Marquis hotel and just steps from where a triple shooting took place last month.
Police say new surveillance video shows the man they're looking to question.
Poulin is being treated at Bellevue Hospital where he's expected to survive.
The NYPD says the victim was an unintended target during a fight between two groups, possibly CD vendors.
In response to the shooting, the mayor announced Monday at least 50 additional police officers have been deployed to the area, which already had a heavy police presence.
It’s part of what he called the “Times Square Safety Action Plan,” which will also target illegal vending connected to gun violence.
“We have more and more activity out there, more and more jobs coming back, more and more tourists coming back,” de Blasio said a news conference. “They have to be safe and they have to feel safe so we’re going to ensure that Times Square is very, very clearly well-patrolled, visibly patrolled.”
The enforcement plan will also rely on coordination with the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Department of Transportation and the Times Square Alliance, according to Chief of Department Rodney Harrison.
“After this shooting and the shooting that we had a couple weeks ago, it's important that we put a lot more of a police presence over there trying to engage some of the issues we’re seeing with these soliciting and aggressive handling of CDs,” Harrison said.
Back in May, three people were shot in Times Square, including a four-year-old girl.
All of the victims survived that shooting and a suspect was eventually taken into custody after being spotted near Jacksonville, Florida.
Business owners in the area say they're concerned about the recent violence, especially as they're trying to lure tourists back into their stores after COVID-19 destroyed their bottom lines.
“It’s happening more frequently,” said John Palha, the owner of Grand Slam New York, in reference to violence.
“Most of the tourist wherever they come from all of the world, they come to this place because this is one of the best places for the tourists and the best city in the whole world, but they have to keep the tourists safe here,” he added
No arrests have been made in Sunday's shooting.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-8477, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.