(Updated) Teen in custody after two young men are injured in shooting at Bryant Park ice skating rink
A teenage boy is in custody after two young men were injured in a shooting sparked by a coat at the Bryant Park ice skating rink Saturday night, police said.
The 16-year-old was being questioned at the Midtown South station house Sunday morning and charges against him are pending, according a law enforcement official.
Around 11 p.m., police responding to gunfire at the rink found a 14-year-old boy shot in the torso and and a 20-year-old shot in the leg. Both were taken to Bellevue Hospital.
A dispute over the 20-year-old’s brand-name jacket prompted the shooting, the law enforcement official said.
The teen, whose name is being withheld by Metro until he is formally charged, approached the 20-year-old on the ice and asked for the coat he was wearing.
When the victim refused, the teen left and returned a few minutes later. The teen called the victim over to where he stood near the rink barrier and shot at him, also hitting the 14-year-old who is now believed to have a spinal injury, according to police.
Police said the victims and the suspect did not know each other.
Police said a witness who knew the teen tipped investigators off to his Facebook page.
The teen has previously been arrested for obtaining transit without pay and grand larceny, in addition to some juvenile arrests.
At the time of the shooting, there were 15 security guards on duty at the rink, in addition to five other park guards, according to Joseph Carella, spokesman for the Bryant Park Corporation, the nonprofit that privately manages the park.
“Keep in mind this was a perpetrator outside the rink, so they wouldn’t have searched him going onto the ice,” Carella said. “It’s always being reviewed but it does appear security was adequate.”
Officials estimate around 300 people were on the ice when the shooting occurred. The rink opened this month.
The park was closed following the shooting and reopened Sunday morning.
“We are cooperating fully with authorities, who agree that it is safe to reopen,” the park wrote on its Facebook page. “Please come by the park today and show that one person’s behavior can’t put a damper on the Winter Village!”
Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders
Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat