NEW YORK (PIX11) — The manhunt continues for the Times Square shooting suspect who left three injured, including a 4-year-old girl.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea provided an update on the search and discussed issues impacting New Yorkers, including an increase in shootings, calls for more officers in subway stations and NYPD recruitment.
Times Square shooting
Investigators have identified the suspect sought in connection to the Times Square shooting.
“There is not a place on Earth that this individual can hide,” Shea said of the suspect. “Wherever he is, he will be found and brought to New York City.”
The suspect, who law enforcement sources identified as Farrakhan Muhammad, is “absolutely known” to the NYPD. NYPD “had an idea of some of the normal players,” in the area, which led to the quick identification of the suspect.
Shooting incidents in NYC
In the last seven days, shooting incidents shot up 140%, and up 202% within the last 28 days, compared to this time last year, according to police statistics.
What can be done? Shea said police know the obstacles, but “the key is what are we going to do about it?”
The NYPD has several resources, including a new recruitment class, that can help “face it head-on.”
“The men and women of this police department are never going to back down from this challenge, and they’re never going to be in a position where they’re not there for New York,” Shea said.
As ridership picks up, the city has since felony assaults on subway stations have risen about 25% since this time last year, according to police statistics.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has said subways are safe, while Sarah Feinberg, interim president of the NYC Transit Authority, has accused the mayor’s office of hiding actual NYPD deployment numbers.
Shea said over 2,000 NYPD officers have been deployed to the transit bureau, and said “large amounts” of officers are there on a daily basis.
However, Shea acknowledged there’s always more to do. With more officers coming from the recruitment class, Shea was asked if it was possible for him to commit to more officers in the transit system.
She said he cannot commit since “there’s just too many competing interests.”
“We’re not seeing good numbers, we’re seeing great numbers,” Shea said.
The NYPD “crushed” numbers for recruitment for what they were looking to do, according to Shea, particularly happy about the preliminary numbers of the African American population applying for the NYPD.
More information on statistics is expected be announced at a later date.
NYPD officers arrested
Three current and former NYPD officers were arrested for participating in bribery schemes, including selling victims’ information. When asked if the officers should be fired, Shea said if they are guilty for what they’re being accused of “being fired is the least of their concerns,” and they should face jail time.