NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a suspect they said opened fire, but missed his intended target and shot an innocent bystander outside Penn Station Monday.
The bullet struck a man in his 50s who was waiting for a cab, according to the NYPD.READ MORE: NYPD Narcotics Detective Executing Search Warrant Shot On Staten Island
It happened around 5:45 p.m. near 31st Street and 7th Avenue by the entrance to NJ Transit, CBS2’s Cory James reported.
Authorities said the intended target stayed at the scene and told police what happened.
Police said the man was waiting on his wife inside Penn Station when he got into an argument with the gunman over food.
The dispute escalated when the gunman followed the man outside and opened fire.
(Cont’d) Police looking for suspect. Man who was shot taken to Bellevue and expected to be okay. #NYPD says an officer who was in the area put tourniquet on victim before EMS arrived @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/4MZqsv76D4
— Cory James (@CoryJamesTV) August 23, 2021
“I view this incident today as the confluence of a series of bad policies, and this is what you get when you get that,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. “We need people to be held accountable when they carry guns.”
An officer who happened to be in the area raced over to the man who was shot and put a tourniquet on his leg.
Taxi dispatcher George Harris said he was helping a customer get into a cab when he saw the victim fall to the ground.
“So I went over to ask him, ‘Are you all right sir?’ He said, ‘No, something’s wrong.’ So I went and got the cop,” Harris said.READ MORE: Search Continues For Gunman After 11-Month-Old Shot By Stray Bullet In Bronx
The man was taken to Bellevue Hospital in serious condition and is expected to be OK.
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Harris.
Commissioner Shea said he was frustrated about violent crime in the city often injuring innocent people.
“Ten blocks north of here we had a young child shot months ago. We need action,” Shea said. “We need laws that help the police rather than hurt and take tools away from the police.”
New Yorkers who’ve witnessed or seen the aftermath of shootings agreed.
“I’m 48 and I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life,” said Aimee Hernandez.
“An innocent bystander gotta walk by, get themselves caught up, it’s not right,” said Mango Edmondzson, who was across the street when this shooting happened.
Police are trying to track down surveillance video of the suspect.MORE NEWS: Garden State Parkway Reopens After Fire Shut Down Lanes In Both Directions
CBS2’s Cory James contributed to this report. Editor’s note: This story first appeared on August 23.