STARKE, Fla. – The man suspected in the Times Square shooting that injured two women and a 4-year-old girl is heading back to New York City to face charges in that case, authorities told News4Jax.
Bradford County officials said Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, waived extradition and is being taken back to New York, where he’s wanted on attempted murder charges in Saturday’s triple shooting.
Muhammad was arrested Wednesday at a McDonald’s in Starke following a nationwide manhunt after the U.S. Marshals Service notified the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office that he had ties to the area.
In a recent interview with Gainesville’s WCJB-TV, the 31-year-old maintained his innocence, saying he was not in New York City on Saturday when the shooting unfolded in Times Square. At the time of his arrest, he said, he was shopping for a place to buy in Bradford County.
“We went to go check out an apartment, there was a home over there we was trying to buy,” he said. “There was a Confederate flag up there. He said no women could stay there. That is why we didn’t get it. We parked by McDonald’s so we could eat McDonald’s real quick and that’s what happened.”
Kristine Vergara, who’s believed to be Muhammad’s girlfriend, was with him when he was captured. She was arrested on a charge of second-degree accessory after the fact. In court, Vergara acknowledged that she had traveled with Muhammad in hopes of preventing him from being arrested.
Police said three bystanders were struck when someone opened fire shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday near West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue in New York City’s Times Square. The shooting victims included a 4-year-old Brooklyn girl, a 23-year-old Rhode Island woman and a 44-year-old New Jersey woman.
According to the NYPD, Muhammad’s brother was the intended target in the shooting. Authorities have not released a motive in the case, but police said the two men have been known to sell CDs in the area.