NEW YORK – Public officials on Monday offered words of support for Northville native and U.S. Marine Corps. 2nd Lt. Samuel Poulin, who was injured by a ricocheting bullet in New York City on Sunday.
Poulin, 21, graduated from the U.S. Citadel on May 9 with a bachelor’s degree in physics. He graduated from Gloversville High School in 2017, where he earned the school district’s “President’s Award” upon graduation.
Samuel Poulin is the son of Northville residents Michael Poulin, who serves as Johnstown’s city attorney, and Karen Poulin, a teacher who works for the Gloversville Enlarged School District.
The New York City Police Department on Monday provided email confirmation of the Sunday shooting as well as a surveillance camera picture of the alleged shooter. NYPD said the shooting occurred at West 45th St. and 7th Ave. at 5:15 p.m.
“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 the NYPD statement. “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 man had fired several shots during a “heated argument” with other people near New York City’s Times Square, police Chief Rodney Harrison said. Harrison indicated a bullet ricocheted and struck Poulin.
A family member plucked the bullet out of Poulin’s back and gave it to an officer, police said. No one else was hurt in the shooting.
Citadel President Glenn Walters, a retired U.S. Marine Corp. general, released a statement to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes on Monday, confirming Samuel Poulin was the man who was shot.
“The Citadel family … is greatly saddened to learn about what happened to our class of 2021 graduate, 2nd Lt. Sam Poulin, in Times Square on Sunday,” Walters stated. “We are encouraged that he is reported to be in stable condition [and] are sending our prayers and our love to his new wife and family.”
Phone calls and social media messages from The Gazette to the Poulin family were not returned on Monday.
Gloversville Enlarged School District Superintendent David Halloran on Monday released a statement from the district about Samuel Poulin after having communicated with his family.
“We offer him our support, and we want to let him know how grateful we are he wasn’t injured severely,” Halloran said. “We’re very happy he’s already been released, and very concerned about the incident in and of itself. It’s a sad commentary on the times we’re living in. Everybody has said he was a class act when he was here, and that he’s a very respectful young man who was a class act all throughout high school, and very bright, which is obviously why he got the Presidential Scholarship.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio promised Monday to dramatically boost the number of police officers in Times Square after the incident.
It was the second shooting in two months at the famous Manhattan tourist attraction and a high-profile setback for the city as it begins welcoming back tourists after a yearlong pandemic lockdown.
“The bottom line is we are going to flood the zone in Times Square with additional officers to make sure this situation is resolved once and for all,” the mayor said at a morning briefing. “We have more and more activity out there, more and more jobs coming back, more and more tourists coming back. They have to be safe and they have to feel safe.”
Police said Sunday’s shooting followed a dispute outside the Minskoff Theatre, where performances of “The Lion King” will start back in September after the coronavirus pandemic shut Broadway down. Published reports said the dispute may have involved street peddlers.
Hot dog vendor Salma Elkordy told The Daily News that bystanders bolted in terror after the shooting.
“I started to see people running. At first I didn’t think anything of it,” Elkordy said. “Shortly after, I saw the caution tape. They blocked off the area, and shortly after the ambulance responded. I saw a big crowd of people and I knew somebody got shot.”
The Associated Press contributed to his article.
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