News & Politics

New York's Times Square Looks More Like a Free-Fire Zone Everyday After U.S. Marine Is Shot

(New York City CrimeStoppers screenshot)

New York City’s Times Square used to be safe. There wasn’t much to fear except maybe that racist Elmo furry creature taunting tourists or the blinding lights triggering epileptic responses on “The Great White Way.” But with Sunday’s latest shooting you can bet people won’t feel too safe there for a while.

Rudy Giuliani began the clean-up of New York—and especially Times Square—when he took office in 1994 by sweeping out the illegal peddlers, thugs, and squeegee guys. He set a new tone of intolerance to anti-social and illegal behavior. “Broken windows” policing was designed to reduce “disorder” that led people to feel threatened and stay away from unsafe-feeling places. The idea was that when nice people withdraw, criminal elements take over.

Giuliani’s clean-up worked to dramatically rid the area of riff-raff and opened the streets once again to tourists and New Yorkers who wanted a safe place to go and see a show.

But the pre-Rudy bad old days are back.

Related: A Deep Dive into Mass Shooting Data

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his capitulations to the left, including defunding cops, have given New York’s Times Square the aura of a free-fire zone after the latest outrageous shooting on Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday, a U.S. Marine was shot in the back in broad daylight while walking with his family outside of the Marriott Hotel in Times Square.

The Marine, Samuel Poulin, was touring the city with his family when a stray bullet ricocheted and hit him. He’s expected to make a full recovery, but the possibility that a Marine faces more danger on a U.S. street than in combat isn’t lost on anyone.

Poulin must have some interesting relatives that he was visiting in New York.

Related: Another ‘Random’ Black-on-White Shooting, This One With 5 Victims

The New York Post reports one of Poulin’s relatives pulled out the slug and turned it over to the cops.

A relative of the victim — who was visiting the Big Apple from upstate Northville for a baptism — pulled the slug out and gave it to police, according to the sources.

The bullet came from a group of CD peddlers.

The Post reported that Poulin was taken to Bellevue Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

An unidentified relative of the victim told The Post on Sunday night that he is doing “fine.”

“I’m going to the hospital right now to see him,” the woman said when reached by phone.

Poulin is a US Marine who recently graduated with honors from The Citadel — a military college in South Carolina.

Police released surveillance video of the man believed to be the shooter.

The family released a statement after the shooting.

Sam is a brilliant young man, an American Marine who works hard, does the right things and stood up to protect American freedom – and the exact people who fired that gun. It’s very awful, for everyone, for tourism, Broadway and NYC.

The latest shooting was outside the Marriott Hotel, where Fox News’s John Roberts said he stays in every time he comes to New York City. He says it “never even crossed my mind that the area wasn’t among the safest in the city.”

Shootings are becoming an all-too-familiar occurrence in New York City’s Times Square.

Just a block away from Sunday’s shooting, a four-year-old girl and two women were shot in broad daylight in May.

Police say the perp in that shooting was aiming for his brother but hit the four-year-old and women instead.

New York City’s theater and tourism industries already took a huge hit from COVID closures and mounted an ad campaign to lure more people to the city.

CNN reports that the 680 shootings in New York City reflect a 53% increase over last year at this time.

An ad campaign can’t wipe out crime stats.