UPDATED: 71-year-old Man Shot Thursday Afternoon; Multiple Suspects Sought, Police Say

Gunfire erupted near 71st and Broadway on Thursday afternoon

By Joy Bergmann

A 71-year-old man was shot in the leg around 3:47 pm on Thursday afternoon near West 71st Street and Broadway, an NYPD spokesperson told WSR. NYPD said the man may have been an “unintended target” of the shooting. He was transported to Mount Sinai Morningside [St. Luke’s] Hospital in stable condition, NYPD said.

Three suspects were being sought, NYPD said; no descriptions of the suspects were yet available.

WSR will update this story as more information arrives.

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.:  Capt. Neil Zuber, commanding officer of the 20th Precinct, provided additional details at Thursday evening’s Community Council Meeting.

The victim was an “innocent bystander” whose leg was grazed by a single bullet. “He’s already been treated and released,” Zuber said, noting the man was not from the area, but was visiting family here.

Investigators believe a dispute between two small groups escalated, leading to at least one shot being fired. The combatants appeared to be in their teens or early 20’s and seemed to have known each other prior to the incident, he said. Video evidence is being shared with various law enforcement bodies and school safety officers to aid identification efforts, he said. “The investigation is definitely off on the right foot.”

Capt. Neil Zuber of 20th Precinct (center) was among the officers at the scene

NEWS | 71 comments | permalink
    1. Marianne says:

      This is just so sad. I have lived in the neighborhood for 40+ years, and it’s never been so violent. Last Tuesday at 10:00am, also witnessed three men in CVS on WEA and 70th cleaning out the shelves and throwing stolen items into their large shopping carts. When are the police going to do their jobs?? People will leave NYC, and I’m ready to do so myself.

      • Tom says:

        Cops in cars on side streets, playing with phones.

      • LK says:

        The problem is not the police as the cops arrest perpetrators ( I’m sure there is a room for improvement ). The problem is that criminals caught with guns are released back. You have two things – a large number of recidivists on the streets and the lack of fear of punishment. This is a deadly mix and both state and city politicians are responsible.

        • Leon says:

          Exactly. There is no fear of consequences. The nature of the crime AND the number of times the perpetrator has been arrested should determine the severity of the punishment. It really isn’t that hard.

          Ask any police officer. They can’t do their job because criminals keep getting put back on the streets.

          And yes, I vote straight line Democrat. But I am a moderate Democrat who doesn’t make excuses and put my head in the sand.

          • Don Kedick says:

            The crime and the person’s criminal history DOES determine the punishment. The difference is that now we no longer lock people up without trial for the “crime” of being too poor to make bail. Once we prove someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, we can then lock them up for their crimes. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a cornerstone of our justice system, and flipping it around to presume guilt is as un-American as it gets.

            • LK says:

              Right. So the person who is caught with a gun is released back to wait till the trial. Then he is caught again and released again. So the damage that could have been created before by several criminals is created now by one. And then there are juveniles with the guns. “In 2021 so far, street violence has led to the deaths of at least 21 children — amounting to more than triple the number for the same period in both 2019 and 2020.”
              So if you consider people who legally purchase guns a threat, yet, you do not stop people who illegally purchase them. Where is your logic? How do you propose to solve the problem with people released after arrest and committing crimes again before they go to trial?

            • Sam Katz says:

              That’s not what is going on. You are proven guilty at trial, but these are people caught with guns, stealing large amounts of expensive goods, and “bail reform” means they are put right back onto the street. Which is why you hear of perps arrested 30 and 40 times. Bail reform is a DISASTER. Vote it out, or be prepared for crime to continue to skyrocket.

          • Isaac says:

            This was a shooting in broad daylight at a crowded intersection that is crawling with NYPD – if they can’t solve this one then what exactly are we paying them for?

        • Isaac says:

          This was a shooting in broad daylight at a crowded intersection that is crawling with NYPD – if they can’t solve this one then what exactly are we paying them for?

      • DavidS says:

        If you’ve truly lived in the neighborhood for 40+ years, you certainly remember that in the 1980s, the rates for all categories of violent crime were several times higher than they are now. All categories of violent crime are down 75% or more from their highs several decades ago. So, no, it’s not at all true that “it’s never been so violent”.

        • Uwsers says:

          Ok so you are a hero. You outlasted the really bad times. Bravo. Does it have to be as bad again? Is bad enough? Its like saying “I didnt die from Covid so it’s really not a big deal.”. Until it’s you or yours.

          Nobody wants a return to the wild west.

        • UWS-er says:

          Crime was MUCH worse in the 80s AND 90s.

          • RCP says:

            We were younger in the 80’s and 90’s and could run faster . . . to the suburbs.

          • Sam Katz says:

            You must have short term memory issues. Crime PLUMMETED in the 1990s with Broken Windows and quality of life enforcement. It has skyrocketed in the past ten years because the NYC Council doesn’t want police to handle quality of life, and because of bail reform, which is a disaster.

          • msgrandoni says:

            I agree, it was worse then–so scary, streets were empty at night. But it is getting bad again.

        • Bill Bratton is a goon says:

          Thanks for the perspective. It’s Disneyland out there compared to 30/35 years ago. The sky isn’t falling, people. You just live in a city of 9 million people

      • Karen Bruno says:

        The city will improve when NY’ers start voting in qualified mayors..but as long as you continue voting in the likes of De Blasio..you are going to decline at a rapid rate!

      • John says:

        The district attorney will not charge the shoplifters so it is a waste of time for the police to arrest these folks. Think about who you vote for in the future.

    2. Paul says:

      This has nothing to do with the police. Several years of bad policies have now shown their results.

      Anyone who thinks otherwise or blames the uptick in crime on the pandemic is just fooling themselves.

    3. SadforUWS says:

      Bail reform. Broken windows disbanded. Undercover units disbanded. You get what you vote for.

    4. John B Phillips says:

      The police are afraid to do their jobs. The mayor and the prosecutors have sent them an unmistakable message: they are much more interested in sending cops to jail than the criminals.

      • NotImpressed says:

        Oh please.
        The cops are also afraid to get vaccinated.
        When did New York’s Finest become New York’s Prissiest?

      • Sarah says:

        Er…how many cops have gone to jail in the last four years? And for what, exactly?

        Police work is difficult, and doing it in a way that actually benefits the whole community, not just part, even harder. No question. But if you don’t want to do your hard but well-compensated job, with benefits beyond the dreams of most people in the private sector, then, by all means, quit and move on. Don’t hang around sucking up tax dollars and priding yourself on being the thin blue line or whatever and then hiding when there’s work to be done.

    5. ben says:

      Time to fire up those cameras and facial tracking functions. C’mon NYPD we all know you’ve got them. Now use them!

      • SNY says:

        I don’t think the new condos owners at 200 Amsterdam, the super tall ultra luxurious and expensive residential tower will tolerate the ultra shabby and dangerous sidewalk (where McDonalds is located) just a half a block away! Wouldn’t it be nice if that very wide sidewalk had storefronts with nice cafe tables and chairs, not ugly and broken outdoor furniture? And if the trees had tree guards with flowers instead of compacted soil and garbage thrown in? And if better lighting and attractive bike racks were put in, instead of the disgusting cluttered appearance of the the existing sidewalk?
        And why doesn’t the residential condominium above the stores participate in making some real improvements to their Amsterdam Avenue block frontage? Why isn’t THAT condo board taking concrete action to fix the sidewalk mess at the retail base of their building?

        • Concerned says:

          Putting hope for neighborhood improvement in the future occupants of 200 Amsterdam will probably result in disappointment.
          I doubt many buyers will actually live there. It’s a facility for sino/russian money laundering in my own view.

    6. yoma43 says:

      So that explains why there was a helicopter hovering in the neighborhood for at least an hour. It was baffling because I couldn’t hear sirens, but the chopper stuck around from about 4:30 till 6:00.

      This is absolutely terrifying. Not long ago, a guy was shot on 72nd and Columbus Ave. I thought NYC gun laws were tighter than tight.

      • Mike says:

        Yes, and that’s why criminals have weapons, and law abiding citizens do not.

        • Brie Hoffman says:

          Well said!

        • UWSer says:

          When unruly thugs and mentally ill people are given carte blanche to plop down on scattered chairs on that shabby New Amsterdam Avenue block, pedestrians passing through are unfairly put in harms way. Some afternoons, walking through that ugly sidewalk frontage, with shabby outdoor chairs haphazardly blocking foot traffic all over the sidewalk, neglected flower-less tree pits, chained bikes all over the place…adds an unacceptable blight to our UWS neighborhood. Lincoln Towers’ residents often must pass through this block, along with the new neighbors moving into 200 Amsterdam, the super tall and very expensive luxury condominium on the next block. They must DEMAND a safe and attractive block where they reside. Where are our elected politicians and the property owners (including the residential high rise building above these stores) on this quality-of-life matter??

    7. John says:

      Echoing some of the comments below, it does seem that every NY cop I see is staring at their phones. If you’ve got your head in your phone how can you be engaging with the community and doing your job?! NY needs its police force to be force for good—not paid TikTok video watchers…

      • Sam Katz says:

        Cops are not causing crime. Criminals are causing crime. Get your priorities straight. They can no longer “stop and frisk” so they look at things like social media apps to figure out what is going on.

      • onthephoneonduty says:

        It’s not unlawful to directly criticize the public servants whom we pay for. If you’re not willing to speak up and put cops on the defensive, then don’t be surprised that the behavior will continue. When I see a cop on their phone, I tell them either ‘Watch the street, not your phone’ or ‘On duty, off the phone’.

    8. Angela Darling says:

      I remember the ’80s well. I used to walk my baby’s stroller among crack vials on the sidewalk along with dog shit. Car windows bashed in radios stolen. Things have improved but now they are deteriorating: guns, gangs, motor bikes on the sidewalk, no helmets, no enforcement at all for major and minor infractions. Is De Blasio responsible? I don’t know.

    9. Bill Wiliams says:

      In the last mayoral debate, Eric Adams gave Bill de Blasio a B+ for a grade. The UWS will overwhelmingly vote for Adams and every other Democrat that has set this city back 40 years.

    10. MixJunk says:

      I live just down the street from where this happened. The plaza at 71 & B’way has become a catch-all for homeless & hustles. And recently, Septuagesimo Uno, the tiny mid-block park on W70th, has become a meeting spot for late afternoon ‘parties’ – I’ve seen 20-30 cram in there and on onto the street. For the most park, seems just kids hanging out – but – there is a contingency that show up that definitely aren’t. Definitely get the sense the police have been told to stand down.

    11. Mark G says:

      “The investigation is definitely off on the right foot.” Get it? That’s funny.

    12. Wendy says:

      This corner always has a lot of action going on around the time the shooting occurred. School gets out and the HS’ers head to McDonald’s and congregate inside, and on nice days, outside. It’s a block and a corner with a large sidewalk area, just rife for something to happen because all kinds of teens are milling about, and who knows who else is hanging at McDonalds.. I noticed this days before this shooting actually took place. The timing of the incident isn’t surprising.

    13. Hammertime says:

      This is a disaster!
      Catch and release policing, or no catch at all.
      This ridiculous vaccine mandate is going to make it worse. Di Blasio is an imbecile. Will only get worse.

    14. Pcnyc says:

      Agree with MixJunk; this busy area is a hotspot for loitering and sketchy behavior. Hotspots of loitering, substance abuse, and sketchiness are evidenced all along Broadway. Most notably, progressing north: 71st through Verdi Square, 79th, 82nd, 95-97th.
      It’s disturbing.
      Relieved that I ride my bike usually and stay physically distanced.

    15. Barb says:

      I want Giuliani back!

    16. HS says:

      Vote for Curtis Sliwa! Guardian Angels saved my life and my friends in the 80s. I was 19. This is no different.

    17. Frustrated says:

      Criminals have NO FEAR now that they are let out within an hour, for offenses as bad as 2nd degree manslaughter. I wish you would all read what is now allowed with a bench warrant and no bail. Assault in the First Degree (also knows as “Assault with a deadly weapon”) is also included. Look it up online for the full 4 page list and then you’ll see why the UWS and this city is in this state of crime and decline.

    18. Tatiana Burila says:

      UWS is so unsafe

    19. Robynn says:

      Given this incident I found it disconcerting that there was no police presence on West 71st today. There were two police cars parked on West 72nd St. at the subway stations.

      • Georaven says:

        Police cars were parked on the southwest corner of W 71st St and B’way (right in front of McDonald’s) from about 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. And the cops were standing on the corner watching the pedestrian traffic as local schools let out. I live right over the intersection and I heard nothing yesterday, no shots and no sirens. Just the helicopter which I assumed was just another annoying tourist fly-by.

    20. Judy says:

      It’s all about who you vote for.

      • Lily says:

        Vote for Curtis Sliwa!! The guardian angels saved my life once and a friend of mine. Crime will be reduced by half with Sliwa in office. That’s what matters now. For our lives and tourists coming here. Who would want to with so many homeless and crime like it was long ago.

      • Tipping Point says:

        The leading candidate for Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg states in his website’s “Real Plan to Stop Gun Violence” that he wants to move away from widespread gun possession prosecution:

        “Targeted enforcement means that there will be no one-size-fits all approach to gun prosecutions. It also means that we will do away with the most common outcome in current gun prosecutions: 1 – 3 year jail or prison sentences for the possession of a firearm (mere possession cases are the most commonly prosecuted gun offense, clearly those firearm possession cases associated with a specific incident of violence are and should be treated differently).”

        He lost my vote. I plan to read up on his opponent Thomas Kenniff before Tuesday’s election.

    21. Will says:

      Maybe if cops worried more about crime and less about fighting the vaccine we’d be in better shape as a city.

    22. A. L. says:

      If New Yorkers want a solution, people need to get out and vote AND stop voting Democrat, unfortunately. These incidents are progressive policies in action and it’s hard to find a moderate Democrat candidate these days.

    23. Derf Renrug says:

      …various law enforcement bodies and school safety officers to aid identification efforts, he said. “The investigation is definitely off on the right foot.” LOL AND HUH? Did the guy get shot on the right foot or left foot? Was Captain Zuber trying to do stand up comedy? Great quote!

    24. Irate Partisan says:

      That McDonalds has been a problem for awhile

    25. Wat Tyler says:

      Far left policies have created the situation in the city. The result of voting for people like Deblasio, Cuomo, etc. Remember Ed Koch said he was a liberal with sanity. Vote Sliwa 2021.

    26. Steve says:

      That short block has recently turned into an open-air toilet all day and a shooting gallery/drug mart late night. Those stores are a magnet for people you don’t want to deal with: druggies, crazies, drunks, teenagers with weapons. The Rite Aid down the block no longer 24/7 as a direct consequence. Here’s my take: 20 years ago, two kids were shot by another at the W66th St HS where these young men come from. Bloomberg admin shut down the HS > a year so that the next class would have totally different students & the shooter got 10 years. But that may as well be pre-history to these kids. Today’s teenagers expect no consequences (even if they are wrong in this instance), and that’s directly the fault of progressives. I’ve been here 40 years, and yes it was worse in the 80’s, and yes, I was held up at gunpoint on W72nd St 35 years ago. Doesn’t mean I want to live through that again.

    27. Louis Parker says:

      Vote Curtis Silva for A safe city
      Eric Adams Is Deblasio part 2
      Don’t say , I didn’t say it so
      Criminal will triple under Adams.
      This is your chance !!!

      • Brandon says:

        Incoherent, misspelled ramblings—classic Sliwa supporter right here, folks.

        Now let’s see if WSR posts this comment or censors it, the way it seemingly never does with the misinformed falsehoods that other commenters here post.

    28. Dan says:

      Being an UWS resident my whole life, it doesn’t matter if it was worse before, people should not be getting shot on 71st street and 72nd street within 3 weeks of each other. There is no more police foot patrol on the UWS.
      It is imperative that Eric Adams, if he wins, go back to foot patrol in neighborhoods such as the UWS. When residents have no connection to the police force except when something bad happens, then bad things will continue to happen. Let’s not give up hope, let’s work TOGETHER, to help fix this!

      • JL says:

        There were 2 officers on foot standing right in front of McD’s at 3:30 this afternoon (Monday). It was quite crowded with after-school kids eating pizza. The NYPD presence does make a big difference there, I didn’t have time to chat but a third cop joined them, so I guess anyone can talk to them if they wanted to.

        A COVID testing site was set up near the Bway crosswalk, slightly more inviting than the vans across the street near the vitamin shoppe.

        If things get as bad as they were in the 70s, does that mean I can get a whole brownstone half a block from CP for 100 grand.

    29. Jim says:

      NY got rid of qualified immunity for NYPD. They can be sued directly. It’s a complicated issue but one result is cops doing nothing. Why risk it.