Times Square shooting suspect, girlfriend arrested in Florida: police

Manhattan

NEW YORK — A man wanted for allegedly shooting a 4-year-old girl and two women in Times Square over the weekend was arrested in Florida, police said on Wednesday.

Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, is accused of opening fire near West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue just before 5 p.m. on Saturday. Marshals and the New York-New Jersey Fugitive Task Force took him into custody in a McDonald’s parking lot near Jacksonville, Florida, according to police.

Authorities said he was eating in a vehicle with a woman, who is believed to be his girlfriend, and two dogs when they apprehended him without incident. The woman was also arrested.

WATCH: Officials give an update on the arrest of the shooting suspect.

Times Square was busy with tourists and New Yorkers enjoying a spring afternoon at the Crossroads of the World when gunfire rang out, causing panic and chaos.

The shooting victims were innocent bystanders, according to police.

The 4-year-old girl was buying toys with her family when she was shot in the leg, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea had said. 

A police officer who learned of the girl’s injury after arriving on the scene ran to her, scooped her up and carried her to a waiting ambulance. The officer’s heroic actions were caught on video and shared widely on social media.

Wendy Magrinat, a 23-year-old tourist visiting from Rhode Island to see the Statue of Liberty, was also shot in the leg. She told PIX11 the bullet may be lodged in her leg for the rest of her life.

Shea said none of the victims knew each other. All of them are expected to recover from their injuries, police said Wednesday.

Police sources said Muhammad, who has a history of illegal vending in the Times Square area, may have been targeting his brother. Investigators, who spoke to the brother, said on Sunday the motive was unclear.

The NYPD credited Crime Stoppers tips with developing information on Muhammad. They also obtained video of Muhammad at a Walmart in North Carolina and knew he had a connection to Florida.

The gun used in the shooting has not been recovered, police said.

Further details of Muhammad’s arrest or possible charges were not immediately available Wednesday afternoon.

His girlfriend, Kristine Jamaica Vergara, 22, was arrested and booked shortly after, according to the Bradford County Sheriff’s Department. Charges against her were also not immediately available.

This story comprises reporting from PIX11’s Stephen M. Lepore, Aliza Chasan, Ava Pittman, Rebecca Solomon, Corey Crockett and Magee Hickey.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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