Times Square shooting suspect extradited to New York from Florida, charged with attempted murder


Farrakhan Muhammad (Photo: Willie Hayes/PIX11 News)

TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan — A man arrested for allegedly shooting a 4-year-old girl and two women in Times Square in early May is being extradited from Florida to New York, police said Friday.

Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, is accused of opening fire near West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue just before 5 p.m. on May 8. Marshals and the New York-New Jersey Fugitive Task Force took him into custody in a McDonald’s parking lot near Jacksonville, Florida on May 12, according to police.

Muhammad was charged with attempted murder, three counts of assault, four counts of criminal use of a firearm and three counts of reckless endangerment, officials said.

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 were expected to recover from their injuries, police said.

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 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 had not been recovered, as of May 10, police said.

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

Muhammad claimed that he wasn’t even in New York on the day of the shooting as he was given the chance to consider extradition.

This story comprises reporting from PIX11’s Stephen M. Lepore, Aliza Chasan, Ava PittmanRebecca 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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