A man who was walking with his relatives in Times Square was shot in broad daylight near Marriott Hotel on Sunday afternoon, authorities said. Samuel Poulin, 21, was with his wife, sister and brother-in-law outside the Marriott hotel on West 45th Street and Broadway when he was hit in the back with a ricocheted bullet around 5:15 pm, according to the sources and NYPD.
This is the same spot where a 4-year-old girl and two others were struck by gunfire last month. The news comes amid growing gun violence in New York that has seen a record number of deaths in the past few months. Police have launched an investigation and are trying to identify the suspects through surveillance video.
The broad-daylight violence erupted amid a dispute between two groups, potentially CD peddlers, with one man opening fire from a sidewalk, sources said. Poulin and his family were enjoying an afternoon in Times Square when he was struck by a stray bullet.
A small group of people watched as crime scene tape was erected about the area with one police officer telling a tourist that it wasn't "a show," and that someone had been shot. Poulin immediately collapsed after taking the bullet shot in his back and was rushed to the hospital. Although he survived the attack but it could have been fatal, authorities said.
According to a New York Post report, sources said a relative of Poulin, who was visiting the Big Apple from the upstate New York town of Northville for a Baptism, pulled the slug from his arm and gave it to police.
"We were sitting at Juniors when a loud pop happened. And everybody ran for the hotel, they ran inside," said shocked witness Sydney Santana.
"It really is bad that [the shooting] happened in Times Square," said Santana, who is visiting from New Orleans.
Sunday afternoon's shooting is the second such incident in Times Square in just over a month and comes just as the city is welcoming tourists back to one of its most famous landmarks as the government continues to ease restrictions. Pouline was unfortunate to be struck by a bullet but it also at the same time shows the risk of walking freely on one of the world's most popular streets.
An unidentified relative of the victim told The Post that he is doing "fine." "I'm going to the hospital right now to see him," the woman said when reached by phone. According to his social media posts, Poulin is a US Marine, though it's not clear if he is still active or a member of the reserves.
Last month, three bystanders were struck by gunfire, including a four-year-old child. The alleged gunman responsible for the May shooting was apprehended days later in Florida after fleeing the city. Also, Sunday's incident comes just over a week since a violent shooting on a sidewalk in the Bronx narrowly missed killing two young children.
According to the NYPD, the city reported 202 homicides this year through Friday, a 14 percent jump from last year. Incidents of shootings have grown 57 percent so far in 2021, with 661 reported compared to 421 over the same period last year.