NYPD hunting for Times Square gunman who was aiming for brother

An intense manhunt was underway Monday for the suspect in a triple shooting in Times Square. The gunman was reportedly trying to shoot his brother when he injured two women and a young girl.

Amid a frantic stampede of tourists, a gut-wrenching video captures an NYPD officer running through Times Square, holding the girl, rushing her to paramedics. 

The child was one of three innocent bystanders shot in broad daylight Saturday afternoon. A 43-year-old woman from New Jersey, a 23-year-old female from Rhode Island, and a four-year-old girl from Brooklyn are all expected to make a full recovery, but the man who put him there is still on the loose.  

The NYPD has released video of a person of interest. They have not released his name, but he has been identified by others as Farrakhan Muhammad, 31. His own brother reportedly provided Muhammad's name to police saying he was the intended target.  

This violence unfolding in the 'crossroads of the world' was stunning to many New Yorkers, even as gun violence surges across the Big Apple. A recent report shows shootings in the city went up by 166% in April compared to the same month last year.   In the same time frame, overall crime has also risen by 30%. 

Curbing violence is now becoming a central campaign issue in the mayoral race. 

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"The truth is New York City cannot afford to defund the police," mayoral candidate Andrew Yang said at a Times Square press conference Sunday.

"When I talk to New Yorkers I get a very different message every single day – New Yorkers are concerned about rising rates of violent crime, petty crime, street homelessness, this is what we are seeing, and we need our cities leaders to step up right now."

Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President and mayoral candidate, also held a similar press conference in Times Square Sunday. 

"We want well-trained conflict resolution trained communication focused policing going after the known shooters," said Adams.  "That is the kind of plainclothes unit that I want."

Scott Stringer, the city's comptroller, and another mayoral hopeful, also weighed in over the weekend. 

"In order to fight crimes and deal with criminal justice challenges, increase in shootings, we need a two-tier approach," said Stringer. "First, we have to get the police back focusing on solver crimes. Our clearance rates are an abysmal 26%.  Meaning, we are not arresting who is doing the shooting."

NYPD: Shootings, assault, overall crimes surge in April

With the Associated Press.