Times Square shooting suspect arrested by US Marshals in Florida

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — The suspected shooter who opened fire in Times Square over the weekend and wounded three people, including a 4-year-old girl, has been arrested in Florida by U.S. Marshals, the New York Police Department announced Wednesday.

Farrakhan Muhammad was arrested Wednesday in a McDonald's parking lot in Starke, outside of Jacksonville, where he fled with his girlfriend, police said.

Muhammad will be brought to New York City to face charges.

The victims of the shooting were a 23-year-old female tourist from Rhode Island, a 43-year-old woman from New Jersey and the 4-year-old girl from Brooklyn.

The shooting unfolded around 5 p.m. Saturday near 45th Street and 7th Avenue when two to four men got into a dispute during which one person pulled out a gun and opened fire, injuring three bystanders, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Saturday.

Muhammad's brother told investigators he was the intended target in the shooting, police said at a press conference Wednesday. The motive in the shooting is still under investigation.

After the shooting, Muhammad fled south. He was spotted with his girlfriend at a Walmart in Fayetteville, North Carolina, before he was finally arrested in Florida. Police said he shaved parts of his head to alter his appearance.

Police said that Muhammad and the woman he was with were CD vendors in New York City. Police officials said the girlfriend is a person of interest, but she’s currently not being charged and is not in police custody.

"While there is no joy today, there is justice," Shea said Wednesday.

Police identified Muhammad as the suspect in the shooting on Tuesday and asked the public for tips on his whereabouts on social media.

Video from the incident shows police officer Alyssa Vogel rush to the injured 4-year-old, wrap a tourniquet around her leg to stop her from bleeding and sprint through the area to an awaiting ambulance.

"This little girl is the strongest person I have ever seen," Vogel told "Good Morning America" on Monday.

Vogel recalled arriving to the chaotic scene Saturday afternoon and how she instinctively pulled the tourniquet off her gun belt and applied it to the child's leg.

"For somebody who has just been shot, she was just standing there. obviously scared, but she wasn't crying or anything," Vogel said. "She only yelled when we were tightening the tourniquet, because that's very painful, but she was very calm for somebody who was in a very traumatic situation.”

The child's mother, father and aunt were all with her at the time of the shooting.

All three victims are out of the hospital and Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a Monday news conference they would "make a strong recovery."

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 5:08PM by Marlene Lenthang and Aaron Katersky, ABC News Permalink