One of the innocent bystanders shot in New York City’s Times Square has recalled pleading witnesses for help as they stood and filmed her on their phones.
Wendy Magrinat, 23, Marcela Aldana, 43, and Skye Martinez, 4, were struck when an argument between up to four men unfolded as they were standing near the entrance of a toy shop on Broadway on Saturday afternoon (local time).
Ms Magrinat told the New York Post she was with her mum, stepdad, eight-year-old sister, her husband, Yoel, and their two-year-old daughter, Elise, when the shooting unfolded.
She recalled noticing the argument "heat up" after one of the people involved used the "N word", prompting her husband and daughter to move ahead away from the group.
Ms Magrinat said everything seemed to happen quickly as the shooting began just before 5pm (local time).
"Everything was so fast, but the shooting started — and the first shot went to my leg," she told the New York Post.
"I just covered it and ran a little, just to get my daughter and my family to safety — but I couldn’t. The pain was too much, and I dropped to the floor."
She felt dizzy and could tell she was losing a lot of blood, so began yelling out, "I got shot! I got shot! I don’t want to die".
Her desperate pleas for help seemed to fall on deaf ears, as people crowded around her with their phones out, seemingly unwilling to call for help.
"I was screaming, ‘I don’t want to die, please help me!’ — and people were just recording, they weren’t helping," she said.
"I was on the floor and a group just surrounded me, all with their phones recording. I understand … people get in shock. But if you’re in shock, you shouldn’t be recording. But that’s how people are right now."
Officers from the New York City Police Department, who Ms Magrinat described "amazing", eventually came running and gave immediate assistance.
She and the other victims were rushed to hospital where teams were waiting for them to arrive, according to the publication.
Doctors decided against removing the bullet – which missed arteries, bone and muscle – from Ms Magrinat's thigh out of concern that it could cause more harm.
The mum was grateful it was not her daughter that got shot.
The four-year-old victim Skye was hit in the lower left calf and reportedly had her leg completely shattered by the bullet, requiring surgery.
The bullet was also reportedly planned to be removed by surgery from the left foot of the third victim.
Image of suspect released by police
NYPD police posted a photo and video of a person of interest on social media following the event, with Commissioner Dermot Shea urging anyone with information regarding the individual to contact the police.
According to the police officer, the three victims did not seem to know each other.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter that the "innocent bystanders are in stable condition".
"The perpetrators of this senseless violence are being tracked down and the NYPD will bring them to justice," he said.
"The flood of illegal guns into our city must stop," he urged, referring to the rise in shootings and crime in the city in recent months.
"Due to a police investigation avoid 44 Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan. Expect a police presence in Times Square and residual traffic delays in the surrounding area," the police warned on Twitter.
According to images captured on CCTV cameras on Times Square, the area was closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic at 7pm, with several dozen police officials deployed on the street.
The images recorded by pedestrians and uploaded to social media of the minutes after the shooting show scenes of confusion and tension, with people running and asking what had happened.
With EFE via AAP
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