A 15-year-old migrant, armed and dangerous, was apprehended and charged with two counts of attempted murder for shooting a visitor and attacking police personnel in the heart of Times Square on Thursday. The migrant youth, known as Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroaa, sobbed as law enforcement arrested him on Friday after a brief pursuit. The chase was prompted by a chaotic event that broke out in the crowded tourist center of New York City.
In addition to attempted murder, Rivas-Figueroa faces charges for assault, attempted assault, and two counts of illegal possession of a weapon. Police have confirmed that the teenager was armed and posed a high risk during the chase, fueling an already tense situation.
Law enforcement authorities revealed that Rivas-Figueroa fired a .45 caliber firearm at a security person inside the JD Sports apparel store on West 42nd Street and Broadway around 7:05 p.m. This incident occurred after the security guard noticed Rivas-Figueroa and two other teenagers stealing footwear and apparel. The bullet was not on target and hit a woman tourist from Brazil in the leg.
Immediately after the shooting, Rivas-Figueroa and one of the other accused shoplifters sped away from the scene. The young migrant also managed to squeeze off at least two rounds in the direction of a police officer who was responding to the incident. Meanwhile, a second officer was able to catch the other accused shoplifter in their attempt to escape, according to information shared by the NYPD.
Consequent to the incident, the NYPD launched a manhunt for Rivas-Figueroa, principally for the attempted assassination of a police officer. The teenager was later caught by the U.S. Marshals Service in Yonkers, New York, just outside Bronx, without any confrontation on Friday around 3:30 p.m., NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban reported.
Rivas-Figueroaa, at the time of his arrest, was found dressing in black jeans, a black t-shirt, and a gold necklace. Footage captured during the arrest showed him being walked off by authorities. Interestingly, he was clad in all white when he allegedly caused the mayhem in Times Square.
At a press conference earlier on Friday, it was revealed that Rivas-Figueroa was residing in a temporary shelter after immigrating from Venezuela. He entered the U.S. in the month of September and was put up at the Stratford Arms Hotel on West 70th Street, known for housing migrants, as per NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell.
However, it remains uncertain whether Rivas-Figueroa is residing in the country legally or illegally. The route his case will take, whether through family court or criminal court, remains undetermined due to his minor status.
Further inquiries revealed that Rivas-Figueroa is suspected of involvement in an armed theft incident in the Bronx and another occasion in Midtown Manhattan where shots were fired, as recounted by Chell. The Brazilian woman who was accidently hit by the bullet in Thursday’s shooting sustained a minor injury according to an official from Brazil, who shared details with Fox News Digital.
She received medical treatment at a local hospital and was subsequently discharged. It is expected that she will return to Brazil on Saturday, the official added.
During his briefing, Chell commended the brave action of the police officer who refrained from firing back in the heavily crowded area. ‘Our cop demonstrated extraordinary restraint by not discharging their firearm into a crowd of New Yorkers,’ he remarked, ‘His training instructs him to exercise prudence in situations where he might have to fire his weapon.’
Chell acknowledged that some Venezuelan migrants have contributed to public safety issues as the city grapples with a steady flow of newcomers. Instances of moped thefts and pickpocketing in Times Square and on the subway have been linked to migrant communities.
He elaborated, ‘We observed moped robberies and purse snatches. We witnessed pickpocketing in Times Square and in the subway. We noticed some groups entering stores and stealing property.’ However, Chell firmly maintained that the police department’s policy is not influenced by a person’s status.
In reference to the suspected shoplifters being migrants, Chell made it clear, ‘We don’t care who you are, what your status is… We’re not going to label the entire migrant community as bad individuals… our primary concern, as well as the community’s, is to get this armed and dangerous juvenile off the streets,’ Chell emphasized.
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