NEW YORK – A plainclothes cop chased a scam artist through sidewalks crowded with holiday shoppers and tourists Thursday in the heart of Times Square, killing the suspect near a landmark Broadway hotel after a gunfight that shattered box office and gift shop windows, police said.
No one else was injured.
The 25-year-old suspect, Raymond Martinez of the Bronx, and his brother were trying to dupe tourists into buying CDs near Broadway and 44th Street just before noon when he was recognized by a sergeant who runs a task force that monitors aggressive panhandling, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
The officer, Sgt. Christopher Newsom, asked them for their tax identification, which allows peddlers to sell on the streets. But Martinez took off running, through to the Marriott Marquis hotel’s passenger drop-off area.
Newsom pursued, and Martinez turned and fired with a Mac-10 9mm machine pistol that held 30 rounds; he got off two shots before it jammed, police said. The officer fired four times, striking the suspect in the chest and arms and killing him, Kelly said.
The hotel is located in the Broadway theater district in the heart of Times Square. The Marquis Theatre, where “White Christmas” is now playing, is in the hotel. Bullets from the gunfight shattered the window of the Broadway Baby gift shop and a side window of the box office on the street, police said.
Dave Kinahan, a tourist from Boston, was parking his car in a spot below street level at the hotel when he saw one man shooting another.
“I was 20 yards away,” Kinahan said. He said he thought, “Is this real or this a movie?”
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