There was a chaotic scene in Times Square on Saturday evening. While confronting a deranged man who mimicked firing a gun at them, two New York police officers responded with shots and mistakenly struck two bystanders instead.
The entire thing was documented by the many connected New York citizens who witnessed the entire ordeal unfold. The 35-year-old man was behaving erratically, standing in the middle of a busy intersection and unsuccessfully weaving his way through the cars, when police confronted him around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night. "He tried to run and ended up getting hit by three different cars," one witness told The New York Times. Or, perhaps, some think he was trying to be hit. "It appeared that he wanted to be struck by cars," New York Police Department commissioner Ray Kelly said at a press conference early Sunday morning. There was some debate as to whether he had actually been hit by any cars. But there was little debate concerning his mental state. "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," one witness told the New York Daily News.
While officers were attempting to subdue him, "reached into his pocket, took out his hand, and simulated as if he was shooting at them," Kelly told reporters. One officer fired a single shot and missed; another fired two rounds and missed.
Instead of hitting their target, the officers shot two women standing on the opposite side of the street. A 54-year-old woman who uses a walker was struck in her right leg. A 35-year-old woman was grazed in the buttocks. Both were rushed to separate hospitals and their identities were not released. The man was eventually arrested -- felled by a group of officers and a taser in the end -- and taken to a local hospital. "The only thing the individual had on his person was a wallet which was recovered from his right rear pocket," Kelly said.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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