NEW YORK (AP) – Police will assess security after a shooting at a popular ice rink in midtown Manhattan, though the park where the gunfire rang out is generally very safe, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Monday.
Meanwhile, the suspected 16-year-old gunman was awaiting arraignment, accused of shooting two people after coveting a jacket one of them was wearing. The name of the teen’s lawyer wasn’t immediately available.
The burst of bullets Saturday night sent hundreds of skaters scrambling for safety and left blood stains on the ice in Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library’s main building. A block of green space near Times Square and the shops of Fifth Avenue, the park is a destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike.
Asked whether police planned to step up security after Saturday’s shooting, Kelly said officials “will make those judgments as we go forward.” But Bryant Park is generally “a very safe area,” he said.
About 20 private security agents were on duty at the ice rink and park Saturday night, said Joe Carella, a spokesman for the Bryant Park Corp., the nonprofit group that manages the park. The company that runs the ice rink, Upsilon Ventures LLC, declined to answer questions and referred calls instead to the park corporation.
The gunman was skating Saturday when he spotted a stranger wearing a jacket he liked and demanded it from him, Kelly said. The man refused.
“Right now, it appears there was no previous contact between the victim and the shooter here _ just that he wanted to rob the coat that the individual was wearing,” Kelly said.
Later, the teen was off the ice but walked over to the rink, called the man with the jacket over to the side, and then fired what police believe were eight shots, Kelly said.
The jacket owner, 20, and a 14-year-old bystander both were hit. Both were hospitalized.
Police later found the suspected gunman at his mother’s home, Kelly said. Investigators searched the home but haven’t found the gun used in the shooting, he said.
The suspected gunman is being charged as an adult. In New York, those 16 years and older are charged as adults in criminal court.
Reach Jennifer Peltz on Twitter at (at) jennpeltz.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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