Who is Avon Darden? Boy, 16, surrenders after shooting and injuring tourist in Times Square

“I don’t want to say anything about my son,' Avon Darden's mother said as she declined to comment

                            Who is Avon Darden? Boy, 16, surrenders after shooting and injuring tourist in Times Square
Avon Darden surrenders after shooting and injuring tourist in Times Square (Surveillance footage)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: A 16-year-old, surrendered to the New York Police Department (NYPD) in Manhattan while being accompanied by his mother, in connection with the Times Square shooting that took place on June 27, when a Marine tourist was injured by his bullet. The teenager is being charged with attempted murder, news outlets reported on Wednesday, July 7.

In a similar incident, a 14-year-old girl involved in the death of Washington DC driver Mohammed Anwar was handed a seven-year sentence by a DC court on July 6.  CNN had earlier called the crash that killed Anwar an "accident", leading to people slamming the company for "hypocrisy".


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Also recently, authorities have charged two boys, aged eight and nine years old respectively, with involuntary manslaughter after they reportedly shot and killed a man with a .22 caliber rifle while clearing down undergrowth in a South Carolina field. In the most recent incident, Avon Darden, the Times Square shooting teenager is being held for questioning.



Who is Avon Darden?

Avon Darden, 16, turned himself into the police. According to reports, the adolescent has five past arrests, all of which are sealed, but it includes three prior felony arrests, one of which was a gun possession charge, according to the New York Daily News. When he surrendered to officers at the Midtown South Precinct stationhouse, he was accompanied by his mother. “I don’t want to say anything about my son," she said as she declined to comment.

This was the second time this year that a shooting took place in Times Square. The gun violence at the Crossroads of the World on June 27 was sparked by an altercation with a breakdancer the night before when the adolescent allegedly moved in front of the performance, The New York Post reported.

The teen returned the next day to the tourist hotspot — and the two got into it again, causing the boy to reportedly pull out a pistol and start a fire, according to police sources. The bullet, however, ricocheted and struck Northville native and US Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Samuel Poulin, 21, in the upper back as he and his family walked by the Marriott Hotel on West 45th Street and Broadway about 5:15 pm. The Marine was in town for baptism and was visiting from upstate New York. When asked by The Post if he had a message for the family, Darden mumbled in a challenging tone: “Yeah I got a message for the family." The rest of what he said was inaudible.



“Upon arrival, officers determined an unidentified male discharged a firearm, striking a 21-year-old male bystander, who sustained a gunshot wound to the back,” reads an NYPD statement, reported by Recorder News. “EMS responded and transported the victim to NYC Health+ Hospitals/Bellevue in stable condition. The unidentified male fled eastbound on 45th St toward 6th Ave.”

The shooting occurred following a fight outside the Minskoff Theatre, where performances of 'The Lion King' will resume in September after Broadway was closed due to the coronavirus epidemic. According to accounts, the conflict may have involved street peddlers, the news outlet reported.

The frantic scene was recorded on surveillance footage provided by the NYPD, which showed the shooter firing indiscriminately. For the shooting, Darden faces charges of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a firearm. For firing a shot at his intended target, the breakdancer, Darden was additionally charged with attempted assault, attempted murder, and reckless endangerment.

As authorities attempt to manage the pattern that arose during the COVID-19 lockdowns, shootings have increased by roughly 38% in the Big Apple this year, with 765 instances reported compared to 555 last year as of Sunday. Shootings in Midtown South have more than doubled this year compared to the previous, with 24 compared to 12.