times square shooting times square police officer
In this image taken from video by the FDNY, pedestrians hurry away from the scene of a shooting in Times Square, Saturday, May 8, 2021, in New York. New York City police say three innocent bystanders including a 4-year-old girl who was toy shopping have been shot in Times Square and officers are looking for suspects. All the victims are expected to recover. (FDNY via AP)
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A terrifying scene unfolded in Times Square in New York City over the weekend as a man opened fire in the crowded tourist attraction, striking three bystanders. 

Chilling video from Earthcam shows the moment of the shooting that sent dozens of people screaming and running for safety. 

A 23-year-old mother and a four-year-old girl suffered the most severe injuries when they were both shot in the leg. 

Officer springs into action to save child

Civilian and body camera footage show 31-year-old officer Alyssa Vogel running into the crowd after hearing there was a young girl in distress. Officer Vogel tied a tourniquet around the child’s leg before picking her up and sprinting to a nearby ambulance.

Vogel told ABC’s Good Morning America that her maternal instincts kicked in when she saw the injured child. “I didn’t know the circumstances,” she said. “So as a mom, I think my motherly instincts went to: ‘I need to help her.’”

Once in the ambulance, the girl was transported to a hospital where she underwent emergency surgery. She and the other two victims are expected to make a full recovery.

“That little girl is the strongest person I have ever seen,” Vogel said. “She was very calm for someone who was in a very traumatic situation.”

Gun control debate heats up as violence surges nationwide

The shooting comes amid a surge in violent crime across the country that’s been building ever since the pandemic struck. 

Over this past weekend alone, at least ten mass shootings took place all over the United States, including a shooting at a Colorado birthday party that claimed seven lives. 

Calls for stricter gun laws have increased amid the violence, even as states like Oklahoma and Florida loosen restrictions.

New York City officials have added an additional police presence to Times Square as a result of this weekend’s shooting. The suspect is still at large.

Nate Morris moved to the Tulsa area in 2012 and has committed himself to helping build a more equitable and just future for everyone who calls the city home. As a teacher, advocate, community organizer...