A teen suspect was apprehended by U.S. Marshals after he was accused of shooting a tourist in Times Square.
Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa, a 15-year-old illegal immigrant from Venezuela, was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Friday afternoon. Following a manhunt, U.S. Marshals tracked down the teen at a home on Saratoga Avenue in Yonkers, New York. The teenager broke down to tears as he was being apprehended by law enforcement.
“If you think you can threaten the lives of the very people who keep us safe, if you think you can put others at deadly risk and get away with it, then think again. We will never stop pursuing you. We will find you, and we will arrest you,” NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said.
Rivas-Figueroa is accused of carrying out a robbery at JD Sports, a clothing and sneaker store in the Times Square area of Manhattan. According to police, the teen was accompanied by another 15-year-old and a 16-year-old. The trio entered JD Sports around 7 p.m. on Thursday.
The teenage boys allegedly began stealing merchandise from the second floor of the store. However, a female security guard reportedly confronted them and took back the stolen property.
Shocking surveillance video shows the teen suspect wearing all white clothing pull out a handgun and fire twice at the security guard. The bullets missed the security guard, but struck a tourist from Brazil.
Tourist Lone Hansen of Denmark told CBS News, “The girl who got shot was between us two. We heard a big bang and then realized what happened.”
The chaotic situation spilled into the busy Times Square streets.
NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell explained, “He turns once. He fires towards our officer. Our officer takes his gun out. He cannot return fire, there’s too many people in his way.
Police said Rivas-Figueroa was able to escape officers by running into the subway.
The gunman is likely to be charged with attempted murder of a police officer as a juvenile offender.
Police said Rivas-Figueroa is also a suspect in a Jan. 27 armed robbery in the Bronx and a “shots fired” incident in Midtown Manhattan.
Police said the suspect is a migrant from Venezuela who arrived in the U.S. in September. Rivas-Figueroa was being housed in a migrant shelter on West 70th Street, according to WABC-TV.
The 16-year-old suspect was also apprehended by police.
Chell said, “We don’t care who you are, what your status is. We’re not going to broad brush a whole migrant community as being bad people.”
However, Chell also admitted that “some Venezuelan groups of migrants – and I say some, not all – that are affecting crime in our city more so now than when they first got here.”
“We saw the moped robberies and snatches. We see pockets being picked in Times Square and on the subway,” Chell continued. “We see some groups going into stores – Macy’s, Kings Plaza, Glass Hut – and stealing property. So yes, it’s a trend. But I want to be clear here again: We don’t care. We don’t care who you are, what you are, what your status is. Our job is to keep this community safe.”
A senior law enforcement source told the New York Post, “The armed shoplifting you hope is an aberration. But could be part of something bigger. That concerns us.”
A Brooklyn police officer told the outlet, “If a small percentage [of migrants] get their hands on guns, it will be an insurmountable problem.”
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