3 bystanders, including a 4-year-old, hurt in Times Square shooting

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May 8 (UPI) -- Three people were hospitalized Saturday in New York City after being shot in Times Square early in the evening.

Police said the victims -- a four-year-old girl, a 23-year-old woman and a 44-year-old woman -- were not known to each other and "appeared to be innocent bystanders."

The child was from Brooklyn, the 23-year-old was a tourist from Rhode Island and the 44-year-old was from New Jersey, police said.

The victims were transported to nearby Bellevue Hospital and treated for injuries. All three are expected to survive.

The shooting appears to have broken out after a dispute broke out between two four people in the area. Officers heard about four to five shots ring out in the area shortly before 5 p.m.

Police say they don't know how many shooters there were, but the New York Police Department has released surveillance footage of a person of interest and is seeking additional information about the incident.

It is not clear what caused the altercation.

Police said they have recovered three shell casings that appear to be .25 caliber recovered from the scene of the crime, but have not recovered a weapon.

"Obviously we're very concerned about the proliferation of guns -- not only in this incident but throughout New York City the last couple years," NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea said at a Saturday evening press conference.

He said officers have been taking guns off the streets of New York City "at an alarming rate over the last few years, and it's time now that we had consequences for those."

"I remember when this city was very bad. The men and women of this department brought this city back," Shea told reporters. "It is still a safe city. It is a great city, but we need help."

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