UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — A teenager was shot multiple times near a high school on the Upper West Side Tuesday and police now believe the incident is possibly connected to at least two other incidents in Manhattan.
The three incidents on Tuesday happened in the span of a few hours and two of them were right outside schools.
After the violent day across Manhattan, the NYPD is flooding Upper Manhattan with officers Tuesday night and through Wednesday, focusing on schools – specifically ones with a history of shootings.
Detectives are looking into whether they are connected and possibly retaliatory. At least one of the shootings is gang-motivated.
Teen shot on UWS
The first shooting happened at 9:50 a.m. just two blocks from Martin Luther King Jr. Educational Campus on Amsterdam Avenue at West 66th Street.
Witnesses told police there was a group of about four to five males fighting when gunshots rang out.
The 17-year-old victim was shot in the torso. He ran two blocks to his school and went inside MLK where they treated him before he was rushed by ambulance to New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Police say he was shot up to three times and was said to have a critical injury. He was set to be questioned by police once he got out of surgery.
Watch the full NYPD press conference:
The gunman was arrested a short distance away, all due to alert New Yorkers, the NYPD said.
“Without the community’s assistance here this morning, this would have been a harder case to solve. This is truly New York City working together without police department to take a shooter off the street with no further events,” said NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell.
Chell said that people immediately called 911, provided great descriptions, and police were able to apprehend the 19-year-old suspect in a yellow cab just one block from the scene. They also recovered a firearm.
Police say the suspect has three prior arrests, including two arrests for narcotics in 2023. The suspect was out on bail in a 2021 armed robbery case.
The campus went into a brief shelter-in place, which has since been lifted.
Mayor Eric Adams also visited the shooting scene about 90 minutes after it happened, but did not comment. Accompanied by police officials, he went into a coffee shop at 172 Amsterdam Ave. The shooting appears to have occurred just outside.
Other shootings in Upper Manhattan
The violence continued into the day when gunshots rang out near another school in Harlem just before 1 p.m. Police are also investigating the shooting that happened near 128th Street and Madison Avenue.
The victims, a 16-year-old and a 27-year-old, were shot in the legs. Both were taken to Harlem Hospital and were said to be stable.
Another incident was reported at E. 105th St. and Park Ave in East Harlem around 3 p.m. where shots were fired but no one was struck.
Chell said the reasons they are possibly connected include “proximity, geography, around schools.”
A spokesperson for Local 237 Teamsters, which represents school safety agents, said: “1,500 fewer school safety agents equals 12 consecutive days of violence. What’s the surprise?”
Police have called a Level 2 mobilization that will continue through school dismissal and into Wednesday morning’s start of school.
The motives of the shooting are still under investigation.
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News