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Times Square shooting: Police wound 2 bystanders by mistake

Posted at 9:03 AM, Sep 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-15 09:03:32-04

(CNN) — Police opened fire on an agitated man darting in front of cars in New York’s Times Square, wounding two women instead.

The incident took place late Saturday night — a time when the popular destination is bustling with tourists.

The women ages 54 and 35 were taken to the hospital. A bullet hit one on the right knee while the other one suffered a wound to her buttocks, police said.

After the two officers fired three shoots in an attempt to subdue the man, and missed, they struck him with a Taser, authorities said. He was later taken to the hospital as “an emotionally disturbed person.”

The 35-year-old man was behaving strangely, and pretended to point a weapon at officers, the New York Police Department said in a statement.

“The male was blocking traffic and appeared to be attempting to be struck by vehicles when the officer attempted to take him into custody,” the statement said. “The male eluded the officer, and when additional officers responded to the scene, the male put his hand in his pocket and then took it out, simulating that he was shooting at the officers.”

A witness said he appeared to have been hit by a cab, and was running around trying to get to the driver when police tried to stop him.

“The guy was in the middle of the street in oncoming traffic and the cops were trying to get him out of the road,” Kerri-Ann Nesbeth told CNN.

She said the incident left her stunned.

“I hear stories when people don’t even know they are shot, so I checked myself and realized it was all clear,” she said.

An investigation is under way.