MANHATTAN – An armed man surrendered to police after pacing in front of the United Nations for hours, prompting a large NYPD response and massive traffic delays in Midtown, video of the scene Thursday showed.
The still unidentified 44-year-old man was a Florida resident who checked into the Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square, about a mile from the UN, on Wednesday, NYPD officials said at a news conference.
The bomb squad has swept both the hotel and the man’s truck, which was parked outside the hotel, and determined there was no threat, police added.
Police vehicles and officers first descended on the streets outside the UN near East 42nd Street and First Avenue sometime before 11 a.m.
During the hourslong ordeal, the man donning a red sweater was seen acting erratically, waving a folder, pacing in front of the building where a row of national flags are visible, and holding the gun to his chest as he pointed the barrel up toward his chin.
At no point did the man point the shotgun, which contained a single bullet, at police, NYPD officials said.
While he never verbally threatened to shoot anyone, including himself, police said they feared he would. The man agreed to surrender if his folder — which included medical papers and other nondescript documents — was given to UN officials.
Police agreed to the man’s terms, and he was seen putting down the gun and throwing his hands up in surrender around 1:45 p.m., video showed.
“I think it was an opportunity for him to get the attention he needed and it worked,” NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker said of the situation
Police then escorted the man away, and NYPD press officials tweeted that there was no longer any threat to the public.
During the standoff, UN staff were told to shelter in place, according to a journalist who works for the United Nations.