My Profile

My Profile

Change Password

Updated: February 10, 2024, 12:18 PM

Migrant teen held without bail over concern he would try to flee after chaotic Times Square shooting that injured tourist

By Georgett Roberts , Dean Balsamini and Tina Moore

A 15-year-old migrant who allegedly shot a tourist while firing at a security guard and later aimed his gun at the NYPD in Times Square tried to flee the city with his mom – and was held without bail at his Saturday arraignment because he would likely flee again, prosecutors said.

Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa shot at the guard and struck the Brazilian tourist in the leg on Thursday night before shooting at cops who chased him as he fled to a subway station, cops said. 

“He then returned to his home, and he and his mother immediately began to flee,” prosecutors said Saturday. “They packed up all their belongings and by 6 a.m. the next morning had vacated their home and fled out of the city.”

The two were caught less than 24 hours later at a house in Yonkers, “where he was hiding behind a wardrobe in a further attempt to evade police,” authorities contended.

Prosecutors asked the judge to send the teen to jail without bail because “he has significant ties out of the United States” and has only been here “for a short time.”  The teen also admitted his involvement to police, prosecutors said.

“Much of the incident is captured on extremely clear surveillance video, from which he was easily identified,” the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office added. 

“Based on all of this, it’s clear that he is facing a significant sentence of incarceration on this serious case and can not be trusted to return to court,” prosecutors said.

The teen, who did not enter a plea, was charged as an adult, but will be sent to a juvenile facility because of his age, officials said.

Rivas-Figueroa was charged with two counts of attempted murder, assault, attempted assault, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, cops said. 

He listened through a translator at his arraignment and didn’t say a word.

Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry said the teen “believed that he could find and carry an illegal firearm.”

“He believed he could fire that firearm into a crowd on the street,” Hendry continued. “He believed that he could try to kill a New York City police officer. That’s what he tried to do. He tried to kill a New York City police officer.”

Rivas-Figueroa, who was ushered to court by two detectives, wore the same dark T-shirt and jeans he was photographed in during his arrest walking into court with a scowl on his face and his hands cuffed behind his back.

He shook his head no when asked if he spoke English, and refused to answer when a Post reporter called his name and asked, “Porque?” or “why?”

The US Marshals Joint Regional Fugitive Task Force and the NYPD collared the “armed and dangerous” Venezuelan teen in Yonkers on Friday.

A woman can be heard wailing in a video that shows him being taken into custody at around 3:30 p.m. Friday at what sources said was the home of a relative on Saratoga Avenue. The teen also wept.

The arrest came moments after NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell, during a news conference, had identified Rivas-Figueroa as a person of interest in the shooting.

The teen arrived in September and had been staying at a temporary shelter at the Stratford Hotel on West 70th Street.

He is also a suspect in a Jan. 25 incident in Midtown in which shots were fired at a park on 45th Street, and a Jan. 27 gunpoint robbery in the Bronx, police said.

Police said Rivas-Figueroa and two other teens — all migrants who attended school together — were trying to shoplift from JD Sports, a sports-fashion retail store, on West 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue at around 7 p.m. Thursday when they were stopped by a security guard.

Here's the latest on the Times Square shooting

  • A tourist was shot in the leg at a retail store in Times Square on Thursday night by a shoplifter. The shoplifter then opened fire at an NYPD officer in Midtown, according to police.
  • NYPD has identified Jesus Lejenadro Rivas-Figueroa, 15, as a person of interest in connection to the Thursday night shooting, Chief of Patrol John Chell said.
  • The NYPD has offered a $10,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the suspect.
  • A security guard at JD Sports at West 42 Street and Broadway approached a group of young males to stop them from stealing when one pulled out a gun, fired it in her direction and missed, hitting the nearby tourist.
  • Sources said Friday that a 15-year-old and a third person were taken into custody and later released.
  • Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa, a 15-year-old Venezuelan teen migrant identified as the shooting suspect by NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell, was taken into custody around 3:30 p.m. Friday at a home in Yonkers.

Rivas-Figueroa allegedly pulled out a “very large” .45-caliber handgun and fired at the guard and “into a crowd,” Chell said.

While the guard wasn’t hit, Brazilian tourist, 38-year-old Tatiele Riberio, who was in line waiting to buy sneakers and texting her husband, was struck in the leg and dragged herself to the back of the store as pandemonium ensued.

The gunman and another 15-year-old boy bolted, with Rivas-Figueroa allegedly opening fire on a cop as he ran away toward West 46th Street, Chell said.

Video footage allegedly shows Rivas-Figueroa, who was in an all-white outfit, and the other teen bolting from the store, Chell said.

Cops patrolling the area began chasing them, with one of the officers snatching the unidentified teen and the other continuing to run after the gunman.

“He turns once, he fires towards our officer,” Chell told reporters of Rivas-Figueroa. “Our officer takes his gun out and he cannot return fire, there are too many people in his way.

“Our suspect goes through the cut between the buildings. He’s running, he takes his gun out and under his armpit, he fires again at our officer,” Chell continued, as he demonstrated how the shooter reached behind his back with the gun.

MTA video footage then showed the suspect bolting into the 47th–50th Streets–Rockefeller Center station at Sixth Avenue, where he went on the tracks before emerging and escaping onto the street, Chell said.

The innocent shopper who was shot got 13 stitches in her leg at Bellevue Hospital and was released. She was expected to head home to Brazil on Saturday.