The tourist bustle around Times Square had a close encounter with death Thursday morning, when a 25-year-old gun-toting CD vendor got into a running shootout with police that sent crowds running in fear and left the shooter dead.
Raymond Martinez ran when a plainclothes officer approached him on Broadway a block south of the Marriott Marquis hotel and asked for his tax stamp to prove he was licensed to sell CDs, police said. As officers chased him into the hotel’s passenger drop-off that runs between 45th and 46th streets, Martinez drew a Mac-10 machine pistol and fired at least twice.
Bostonian Dave Kinahan, 42, had just pulled up his car when the shootout erupted around 11:15 a.m. Was it a movie shoot, he wondered. His daughters, both toddlers, ducked.
“I saw the police officer shoot at the guy, but I didn’t know he was a cop,” Kinahan said. “It was pretty freaky.”
One bullet hit the Marriott Marquis’ box office window, another crashed into a gift shop, Broadway Baby. Martinez still had 28 rounds but his gun jammed, police said. A sergeant fired back four times hitting Martinez in the chest.
He was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. Police found a business card from a Virginia gun dealer on him.
“We’re lucky that the weapon jammed,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.