A teenage gunman suspected of shooting a tourist and firing at a police officer during a robbery-gone-wrong in Times Square was arrested on Friday, according to authorities. Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa, a 15-year-old migrant from Venezuela, was arrested in Yonkers by U.S. Marshals following an almost day-long manhunt.
Photos show the young suspect in a dark T-shirt, jeans, and a gold necklace, being arrested around 3:30 p.m. at the home of a relative on Saratoga Avenue. NYPD Deputy Chief of Detectives Jason Savino described the arrested teen as a "very, very violent" suspect who indiscriminately discharged a "very large" .45 caliber handgun in a densely populated area of New York City.
Arrested at Last
However, the alleged young bandit, who was also sought for armed robbery, appeared more like a scared child, crying for his mother, despite his baby-faced demeanor. As he was escorted out of the house with his ankles shackled and hands cuffed behind his back, the cries of a woman could also be heard in the background.
"He was crying. When he was apprehended, he was crying... Here he is committing these adult acts, that's something you don't expect a child to do, and then when he's apprehended, he's brought out in handcuffs crying," NYPD spokesman Carlos Nieves told reporters.
Rivas-Figueroa is expected to be charged as a juvenile for the attempted murder of a police officer, as mentioned by Nieves. The case will then proceed to either criminal or family court.
The arrest comes shortly after NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell, in a press conference, had identified Rivas-Figueroa as the "armed and dangerous" person of interest in the shooting.
Rivas-Figueroa is accused of shooting at a security guard who intervened when he and two friends tried to steal a coat from JD Sports Store on West 42nd Street and Broadway.
The bullet missed the security guard and struck Tatiele Riberio Lemos, a 38-year-old Brazilian tourist, waiting in line to purchase sneakers around 7:15 pm on Thursday.
After the incident, he fled through Times Square, allegedly firing two shots at chasing police officers without regard for the dense crowd of shoppers.
According to Savino, Rivas-Figueroa fired twice at the chasing cops, including a blind shot over his shoulder, "something potentially so dangerous."
"Our shooter had no regard for anyone in the area, really as reckless as we've seen," he said.
Savino stated that Rivas-Figueroa fired at the officers who were chasing him through the streets of Midtown "without a thought for who he might hit or kill."
"It's an actual miracle we're not having a different conversation right now."
Police Stunned and Shocked
Chell demonstrated how the gunman fired the weapon while running, shoving it under his armpit and shooting without looking. "He had no problems firing into a crowd at a store... and not shooting at cops once, but shooting at them twice," Chell said.
"And I gotta tell you, [if] one of those bullets hits our cop last night, this is a whole different conversation we're having today," he added.
"Our cops showed great restraint not to fire their weapons into a crowd of New Yorkers."
"You saw the video. He turns once, fires towards our officer. Our officer takes his gun out. He cannot return fire. There's too many people in his way," he said.
"Our suspect goes through the cut between the buildings. He's running, he takes his gun out and under his armpit he fires again at our officer."
NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban praised his force for arresting Rivas-Figueroa "less than 24 hours" after his spree of terror.
"If you think you attack a member of this department, if you think you could threaten the lives of the very people who keep us safe. If you think you could put others at deadly risk and get away with it, then think again," Caban said at a Friday evening press conference. "We will never stop pursuing you. We will find you, and we will arrest you."
The teenager arrived in September and had been living at a temporary shelter in the Stratford Hotel on West 70th Street, as reported by Chell. He is also a suspect in a gunpoint robbery in the Bronx that occurred on Jan. 27, and another incident involving shots fired at a park on 45th Street in Midtown on Jan. 25, according to police.
It remains unclear whether he will face charges related to these incidents.