Startling footage released by the New York Police Department shows a gunman trying to shoot another man as two children get caught in the fray, narrowly escaping with their lives intact.
The masked shooter, who has not been identified, walked up towards the 24-year-old victim, discharging his weapon multiple times, hitting the victim in the back and legs.
The children, a five-year-old boy and his 10-year-old sister, did not know the victim and were just walking down the street when they got mixed up in the violent incident. The surveillance video shows the sister take hold of her younger brother and cover him with her body as the bullets fly around them.
Officials said the children were not injured.
The victim was taken to a hospital in the area. Police said on Friday that his condition was “stable”.
Law enforcement released the video hoping to get help from the public in identifying the gunman, who they describe as a man wearing sunglasses and all-black clothes.
The shooter got on a waiting scooter driven by someone else and they fled the scene. The getaway driver, also a man, was described as wearing a white baseball cap, a red long-sleeved shirt and dark-coloured shorts.
Cities all across the country have seen a rise in gun violence, including New York. As of 13 June, 721 people had been shot this year, the highest number since 2002. The city’s overall crime rate, however, is at its lowest point in decades, mostly because of fewer reports of burglaries and robberies.
New York City’s rise in gun violence has mostly affected a few areas, including the Bronx neighbourhood of Mt Eden where the Thursday shooting occurred.
Home health care aide Ante Rodriguez, who lives on the block, told The New York Times: “This is a good neighbourhood.”
“You can see that everybody knows each other,” he added.
But the 20-year-old also said shootings in the area have increased.
“I’ve seen shootouts before,” he told the paper. “I’ve been shot at myself.”