The frightening encounter began to unfold just after 10 p.m. on Sept. 14 near the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street and Eight Avenue in Manhattan.
Law enforcement officials said an emotionally disturbed man ran into the intersection and was seen dodging cars as they continued bustling through. Witnesses reported that the man had laid down in the middle of the street.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said the man had put his hand into his pants and pulled it out, as to imitate a weapon. He then mimicked a motion of firing the imaginary weapon, which caused officers to actually fire upon him. Two police officers fired three rounds at the suspect. He was not struck.
Instead, according to authorities, two women were accidentally shot by police during the incident. One of the women – who uses a walker – was shot in the leg. A second woman was grazed in the buttocks.
In cell phone video taken at the scene, witnesses can be heard crying and screaming at others to “get down” as the three gunshots resonate in the background.
Kelly said the suspect, an unidentified 35-year-old man, was taken into police custody after the incident. Witnesses said the man was hit by as many as four vehicles as he stood in the busy intersection. After the chaos, he was seen sitting on an EMS stretcher while handcuffed. It was unclear what charges, if any, he would face.
Police said one of the women was being treated at Bellevue Hospital while the other was taken to Roosevelt Hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known.