A juvenile Venezuelan migrant was arrested Friday after he allegedly shot a tourist in Times Square, New York City, and then allegedly shot twice at a police officer Thursday evening, authorities said.
Jesus Alejandro Rivas Figueroa, 15, was allegedly shoplifting with classmates, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old, in a sporting goods store on Broadway in the Times Square area at about 7 pm, New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Patrol John Chell told reporters at a press conference late Thursday.
A female security officer at the store reportedly confronted them and seized the goods from them. Rivas Figueroa allegedly fished out a .45 caliber handgun and fired at the security officer into a crowd, according to Chell. The bullet missed the security officer but struck a 37-year-old Brazilian female tourist, Chell said. NYPD officers chased down and arrested the other 15-year-old. One of the officers chased Rivas Figueroa, who allegedly turned around and fired twice at the officer, according to Chell.
The NYPD arrested the 16-year-0ld alleged accomplice early Friday, Chell said.
Rivas Figueroa was arrested Friday afternoon at Yonkers, about 16 miles north of Times Square, NYPD Deputy Chief Jason Savino said at another press conference. The injured tourist was reportedly waiting in line to buy a pair of sneakers when the stray bullet hit her in her left knee. She was treated at a hospital and discharged, Savino said.
Rivas Figueroa entered the U.S. in September 2023 from Venezuela and lived in a temporary migrant shelter in the Stratford Arms Hotel. He also was a suspect in a Jan. 27 armed robbery incident in the Bronx and a separate, previous shooting, Chell said. (RELATED: Video Appears To Show Illegal Migrant Gang Members Dragging Woman From Moped: REPORT)
“Considering where these shootings took place, it’s an actual miracle that we’re not having a different conversation right now,” Caban added.
The NYPD faced questioning over their tracking of crime perpetrated by recent migrants and gangs. “We track crime throughout the whole city,” Caban said.
“We monitor every gang in this city,” Savino said.
“We’re not going to broad-brush a whole migrant community as being bad people…but we’re not gonna put up with this,” Chell said. He acknowledged, however, that there was a wave of Venezuelan criminal gangs in NYC committing moped robberies, pickpocketing, and shoplifting. “We’ve seen it, it’s a trend,” he said.
Chell said the NYPD was the police department showing the most restraint in the world and NYC remained the safest city in the world. “We’d like to prevent everything from happening, but the second-best thing is to be there, effect arrest, and keep the community safe,” he said.