Times Square shooting suspect arrested in Florida

National and World

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)

NEW YORK (AP) — A man suspected of shooting three people in New York’s Times Square, including a 4-year-old girl, was arrested Wednesday in Florida, police said.

Farrakhan Muhammad was taken into custody in a McDonald’s parking lot near Jacksonville, the official said, four days after the shooting Saturday that rattled the Big Apple tourist haven known as the “Crossroads of the World.”

“While there is no joy today, there is justice,” New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

Muhammad, 31, was listed Wednesday in an inmate database for the sheriff’s office in Bradford County, Florida. Information on a lawyer who could speak on his behalf was not immediately available.

Muhammad is suspected of wounding three people with stray bullets during a dispute in Times Square at about 5 p.m. Saturday.

Wendy Magrinat, a 23-year-old tourist visiting from Rhode Island, was shot in the leg. A 43-year-old woman from New Jersey was shot in the foot. The 4-year-old girl, from Brooklyn, was also shot in the leg.

Muhammad was apparently aiming for his brother, but investigators haven’t yet pinpointed the motive, chief of detectives James Essig said. He said the brothers apparently both sold CDs in the Times Square area.

Police released videos and photos of Muhammad and asked the public for help tracking him down. His family made a public plea for him to turn himself in.

Officers identified Muhammad as a suspect within hours and soon realized he was heading south, Essig said.

Video then captured Muhammad and a woman, believed to be his girlfriend, buying dog food and other supplies at a store in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Meanwhile, investigators realized he had connections to some addresses in Florida.

A U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force caught up with the two on Wednesday as they were eating lunch in a car outside a McDonald’s in Starke, Florida, police said. Two dogs were also in the car.

Muhammad had shaved off some of his hair, Essig said.

The woman has not been arrested on any charges, but police noted their investigation was continuing.

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Associated Press writers David Fischer in Miami and Jennifer Peltz in New York contributed to this report.

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