Times Square shooting suspect denies he was in New York in bizarre jailhouse interview

·2 min read
<p>Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, says he was nowhere near the scene of the Times Square shooting when it happened</p> (WCJB)

Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, says he was nowhere near the scene of the Times Square shooting when it happened

(WCJB)

The suspect in the recent Times Square shooting that left three people injured says he wasn’t even in New York City when it happened.

In a fast-talking, rambling interview at the Florida jail where he’s being held, Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, told WCJB he was in New Jersey at the time of the shooting.

“I still don’t know nothing of nothing,” Mr Muhammad said. “I left New York a few days ago. I was in Jersey. I went to Jersey, took our two dogs with us. I packed our stuff up.”

US Marshalls arrested Mr Muhammad in Starke, Florida on Wednesday, four days after the shooting. Police say he was eating in his car outside a McDonald’s with his girlfriend, Kristine Vergara, 22, whom police arrested as well.

Mr Muhammad told WCJB they were in Florida to do some house hunting.

“The reason we were by the McDonald’s was we went to go check out an apartment,” the suspect said. “There was a home over there we were trying to buy. There was a Confederate flag up there. He said no women could stay there. That’s why we didn’t get it.”

Mr Muhammad is currently at Bradford County Jail awaiting his extradition to New York. He has been charged with second-degree attempted murder, and Ms Vergara has been charged with being a second-degree accessory after the fact.

On the day of the shooting, police say Mr Muhammad was in Times Square selling bootleg CDs with his brother when they began arguing. In a fit of rage, police say, Mr Muhammad fired a gun at his brother, but missed and shot three other people instead, including a toddler.

The victims were a 43-year-old woman shot in the foot, a 23-year-old woman shot in the leg, and a four-year-old girl shot in the calf.

Dramatic footage shows a female police officer, Alyssa Vogel, running down the streets of Times Square with the toddler in her arms as she brings her to an ambulance.

The girl later received surgery at New York’s Bellevue Hospital. None of the victims’ injuries were life-threatening, and all three are expected to recover.

After the shooting, police say Mr Muhammad ran back to his hotel room on West 42nd Street, where he changed his clothes and shaved his head. Meanwhile, his brother identified him to the police as the shooter.

Mr Muhammad then started driving south. On Tuesday, a surveillance camera caught him buying dog food at a Walmart in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

“Once he started going through North Carolina, we knew he was headed to Florida,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig told The New York Times.

Mr Muhammad was arrested the next day.