Some bad news for New York's tourism industry: Two NYPD officers accidentally shot two women in Times Square last night. The cops' bullets were intended for an unidentified man who appeared to be threatening them with a gun (he wasn't), but instead hit the lower leg of a 54-year-old Theodora Ray who uses a walker and grazed the buttocks of 37-year-old Sahar Khoshaklagh. Both victims were identified as Manhattan residents. The first woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital for surgery, while the second was treated at Roosevelt Hospital and released.
In a press conference earlier this morning, police commissioner Ray Kelly tried to explain what happened: "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." That’s when the man reportedly put his hand in his pocket "then withdrew it and mimicked shooting at the officers." A witness told the New York Daily News that the man actually used a MetroCard in his fake attack. He added, "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."
A cell-phone video of the incident captured the chaos as the man weaved around 42nd Street and 8th Avenue while police attempted to subdue him. He was eventually tased and wheeled into an ambulance where, the New York Times reports, "He was conscious and sitting upright, dressed in a green sweater. He appeared to be handcuffed." Kelly acknowledged that the only thing the man was carrying was a wallet.
Expect lots of questions about the incident in the coming week, especially since this isn't the first time NYPD officers have accidentally shot bystanders in midtown.
Update: The man the police were aiming for has been identified as 35-year-old Glenn Broadnax. He was charged with menacing, obstructing governmental administration, rioting, cocaine possession, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in the incident, and, according to police, has 23 prior arrests for including assault, robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, and turnstile jumping. Additionally, Kelly said he visited both victims Sunday and told reporters the women are "in good spirits."