De Blasio vows to ‘flood the zone’ in Times Square in wake of shooting

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Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday vowed police would “flood the zone” in Times Square in the wake of the shooting that injured a tourist, as the Big Apple seeks to rebound from the COVID-19 lockdown.

Hizzoner said dozens of additional cops were sent to the tourist hotspot, which already has a significant police presence, immediately after the shooting late Sunday afternoon, the second act of gun violence there in as many months.

“Bottom line is, we are going to flood the zone in Times Square with additional officers,” de Blasio said during his daily virtual press briefing.
“We have more and more tourists coming back, they have to be safe and feel safe.”

He called the terrifying incident Sunday — when a Marine from upstate New York was struck by a stray bullet as two groups of men argued outside the Marriott Hotel — “unacceptable” and that New York “will not tolerate it.”

“It has to be safe,” de Blasio said of the tourism hub. “We’re going to be adding additional officers to make it safer.”

“We cannot let it have a negative effect” on tourism, the mayor added. “That’s the bottom line. It’s mission critical to get this right.”

“The recovery we’re seeing now is very, very strong, and it’s going to keep happening, and we’re going to do a lot to make sure it happens.”

NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said the suspected shooter, a black male in his 20s, was engaged in a “heated argument” with “several individuals” on West 45th Street and Broadway. The young man opened fire — with a bullet ricocheting and hitting an “unintended target.”

“After this shooting, and the shooting we had a couple of weeks ago, it’s important that we put a lot more police officers over there,” said Harrison.

The NYPD chief added that the department will be cracking down on other, more minor crimes, such as people who hawk CDs.

The gunfire came amid a dispute between two groups — possibly CD peddlers, sources previously told The Post.

The man hit by the bullet, Samuel Poulin, a 21-year-old Marine, was visiting New York City with his wife, sister and brother-in-law, sources and the NYPD said.

The shooting came after three bystanders, including a 4-year-old, were shot in Times Square on May 8 — just one block from Sunday’s incident.

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