Mayor Bill de Blasio Wants More Cops in Times Square After Injury of 21-Year-Old Bystander in Shooting

A 21-year-old was in town with family for a baptism and was struck in the back by a stray bullet. In May, a similar incident left several people injured.


Image via Getty/Spencer Platt


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that he will “flood the zone in Times Square” with even more police officers following a second reported shooting in the tourist-heavy area.

A man who was struck while walking through Times Square with his family has been identified as 21-year-old Samuel Poulin, per a regional NBC report. Poulin, who is said to have been in the area for a baptism, was hit in the back near the Marriott Marquis on Broadway around 5:15 p.m. on Sunday. At the time of this writing, no arrests had been made. Poulin was not reported to have life-threatening injuries.

During a morning news conference, de Blasio called the shooting “absolutely unacceptable” when detailing what’s now being billed as the Times Square Safety Action Plan.

“I like to talk about good things that happen in New York City that happen all the time, and there were a lot of good things this weekend. But there was also something really, really bad: another shooting in Times Square, which is absolutely unacceptable,” de Blasio said. “And we will not tolerate it. Now, we’ve seen patterns in Times Square that we are going to address very, very aggressively. That is the entire notion of precision policing.”

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According to the NYPD’s Chief of Department Rodney Harrison, Sunday’s shooting happened following a “dispute between one individual and several other individuals.” As clarified in multiple subsequent reports, Poulin was not involved in this dispute and was not the intended target.

“After this shooting and the shooting that we had a couple of weeks ago, it’s important that we put a lot more of a police presence over there,” Harrison said Monday morning, referencing a previous Times Square shooting that left two women and a four-year-old girl wounded. “[We are] trying to engage some of the issues we’re seeing with these soliciting or aggressive panhandling of CDs. We’re not sure what the motive was from yesterday. I’m not sure if it’s from CDs or street-dancing but the investigation is still ongoing and we’ll get to the bottom of it.”

In a statement shared Monday, a spokesperson for the Citadel senior military college in South Carolina—from where Poulin was a graduate—confirmed that he was in stable condition. 

Also on Monday, the NYPD shared a photo of a person they allege to be a suspect. The department also shared a video clip they say shows the shooting in question:

De Blasio, meanwhile, has received criticism for his boosting police presence comments due to—among (many) other things—the already palpable police presence in the Times Square area. 

Later this week, the Board of Elections will release its first report of ranked-choice results, the latest development on the path to finding out who will face Republican Curtis Sliwa in the general mayoral election in November.

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