Despite the very public shooting on 42nd Street this weekend, the New York Police Department says officers are firing their guns a lot less nowadays. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says it's tragic that two women were shot by police bullets on 42nd street Saturday, when their target, an apparently deranged man, was not hit.
"I don't know if procedures were followed here. Obviously the commissioner, Ray Kelly, is doing an investigation," Bloomberg said.
Two officers fired three shots at the man, 35-year-old Glenn Broadnax.
The police department says it was the first time this year that bystanders were injured by police bullets.
Last year, two officers fired 16 times outside the Empire State building at a man, who had killed a co-worker.
Nine bystanders were hit, resulting in lawsuits against the NYPD.
But Mayor Bloomberg says the NYPD has a track record other departments would envy.
"Our police department is very well managed, and the officers are very well supervised, and the officers themselves are very disciplined," Bloomberg said.
The mayor says this year marks the fewest incidents on record of officers firing their weapons.
NYPD figures show that as of September 8, there were 54 incidents, aside from the Saturday shooting.
This figure is down from 83 incidents in 2012.
There's also been a steady drop in incidents since 1971, when cops discharged their weapons 810 times.
The New York Civil Liberties Union says police officers have done a good job of not firing their weapons needlessly, but shootings in crowded areas raises questions.
"Anytime a police officer fires a weapon on the street, particularly in a place like Times Square of course, you run a very high risk of bystanders being hit, and it may well be that the department has to look very closely at its training to make sure that in situations like that, every possible restraint is used before an officer starts firing his weapon," said Christopher Dunn from the NYCLU.
Broadnax was eventually tasered and arrested.
He didn't have a gun, but officers say he gestured like he had one.
He Is being held without bail and is receiving psychiatric testing before his next court date.