NEW YORK (AP) — A 4-year-old girl who was shot in the leg in Times Square barely cried on the way to the hospital, the New York City police officer who carried the child to safety said.
“This little girl was so strong,” Officer Alyssa Vogel told the New York Post. “She didn’t even cry once except when we were putting the tourniquet on. She screamed because it’s very painful.”
The 4-year-old Brooklyn girl was one of three people hit by stray bullets when someone opened fire 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, and a 43-year-old woman from New Jersey was shot in the foot. All are expected to recover.
Police released video of a person of interest in the shooting. No arrests had been made as of Monday afternoon.
The police department on Monday posted bystander video and footage from Vogel’s body camera showing the officer applying a tourniquet and sprinting to an ambulance with the wounded girl in her arms. Vogel is heard on the video crying out, “There’s a baby?” before springing into action.
“As a mom, I think my motherly instincts just went to, you know, I need to help her,” the officer told ABC News on Monday.
Vogel, the mother of a 6-month-old boy, told the Post that she tried to reassure the girl’s distraught mother in the moments after the shooting.
“I kept telling her to breathe and that her daughter was going to be OK,” Vogel said. “I kept trying to calm her down because she was obviously very scared.”
Vogel said the girl’s mother was running right behind her as she carried the child into the ambulance and then from the ambulance to Bellevue Hospital.
“I actually got out of the ambulance with her and ran her to the pediatrics unit, where the doctors took over,” she said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted Monday that the daylight shooting at a high-profile location would not deter visitors from returning to the city as the coronavirus pandemic wanes.
“In the end, people want to come to this city,” the Democratic mayor said at a virtual briefing. “It is an overwhelmingly safe city, when you look at New York City compared to cities around the country, around the world.”
De Blasio said tourists have already started returning. “I thought it would take into the summer before we’d see that kind of comeback,” he said. “It’s happening now.”