In a recent incident that has gripped New York City, the NYPD has identified a 15-year-old suspect, Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa, in connection with a shooting in Midtown, specifically in a Times Square sporting goods store. This event, which occurred on Thursday night, resulted in the injury of a tourist, escalating concerns over public safety and leading to a city-wide manhunt for the teenager.

Who is Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa?

Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa, a migrant from Venezuela, is currently at the center of this extensive search. Not only is he linked to the Times Square incident, but Rivas-Figueroa is also suspected of involvement in an armed robbery in the Bronx and another incident involving gunfire in Midtown. The seriousness of these allegations has led the NYPD to consider him “armed and dangerous,” reportedly armed with a “very large” .40 caliber handgun​​​​.

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The circumstances surrounding the Times Square shooting are particularly alarming. According to reports, on January 27th, Rivas-Figueroa, along with two other shoplifters, entered the JD Sports store. Upon being confronted by a security guard, one of the shoplifters, allegedly Rivas-Figueroa, drew a firearm and opened fire, injuring a 38-year-old female tourist in the leg. In the ensuing chaos, as police chased the suspects, Rivas-Figueroa is accused of firing twice at an officer, missing on both occasions​​.

Rivas-Figueroa’s arrival in New York last September and his subsequent stay at a temporary shelter, the Stratford Hotel on West 70th Street, has brought additional scrutiny to the city’s handling of migrants and the safety of its temporary accommodations. The Stratford Hotel, now a focal point of police activity, houses migrants and is being closely examined for its security measures amid the ongoing investigation​​.

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This incident has sparked widespread concern among New Yorkers and visitors alike, raising questions about the safety of tourists in the city and the effectiveness of the city’s support and oversight of migrants housed in temporary shelters. As the manhunt for Rivas-Figueroa continues, the city remains on high alert, with authorities urging anyone with information on his whereabouts to come forward.