By Cory James

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for whoever is responsible for the shooting of an innocent man on the Upper West Side on Thursday afternoon.

The NYPD said the 71-year-old victim just happened to be standing near a corner when the bullets went flying, CBS2’s Cory James reported.

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The incident happened at around 3:45 p.m. at West 71st Street and Broadway. Authorities said multiple suspects were involved in the shooting.

Witnesses and neighbors described the chaotic moments that unfolded in front of them.

“I just hear ‘boom, boom, boom’ from the roof. I look and I see people start running,” one person said.

“By the time we heard the pop, then you know it’s a gunshot,” another said.

“Why is what used to be one of the safest neighborhoods in New York City is now one of the scariest? Every single day I hear of an incident,” another added.

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But while shootings are almost up in comparison to this time last year, some say the area is starting to see a noticeable rise in crime.

Right now, robberies are up 17% and felony assaults have increased by 31%.

Sara Lebwohl, a mom of two, said her family loves living in the neighborhood and does not plan on moving. However, she said she believes local leaders need to have a huge hand in fixing the problem.

“We need our politicians to step up and help our community and communities all around the city get the funding for police, funding for programs that are going to keep these incidents from happening because they’re unfortunate for all parties involved,” Lebwohl said.

Police did not immediately give out a description of the suspects.

The victim, who was shot in the leg, is expected to recover.

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Police plan to access area surveillance cameras to get better clues as to what happened.

Cory James