Citadel issues statement on recent grad hit by stray bullet in Times Square shooting

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 7:27 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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NEW YORK, S.C. (CNN/WCSC) - After an argument broke out in New York City’s Times Square, a 21-year-old bystander and Citadel graduate was shot in the back.

Reports say Samuel Poulin was visiting relatives in New York when he was shot in Times Square.

Poulin is a U.S. Marine who just graduated from the Citadel.

Cellphone video captured Poulin being treated by paramedics and taken away on a stretcher.

“We heard a loud pop and then you saw people running into the Marriott,” tourist Tammy Felix said.

Felix was eating at Juniors Restaurant near the corner of 45th Street and 7th Avenue when she heard the shots at 5:15 p.m. Sunday.

“People were running toward the street where it happened but the police made them come back the other way and then we were trapped,” another tourist, Sydney Santana, said. “We couldn’t go anywhere, they told us we had to stay there basically until they figured out what was going on.”

Police say the shooting happened after a group of six men got involved in a dispute near the Minskoff Theater, commonly known as home to The Lion King musical.

In the middle of the dispute, police say at least one man took out a gun and started firing.

CNN reports that a bullet ricocheted and hit Poulin in the back

“He was standing up,” Santana said. “He was talking and then they put him on a stretcher and took him on.”

Poulin was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

Police say they have not made an arrest in the incident, but they are reviewing surveillance video and asking anyone with information to contact them. Investigators released a still from surveillance footage Monday morning.

In the interim, the NYPD and city leaders committed to putting at least 50 additional officers on the streets near Times Square and cracking down on illegal vending in the area.

“This is a place that is so precious and so important to our city. It has to be safe,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference. “We’re going to be adding additional officers and additional measures to make it safer, to make it better.”

Citadel spokesperson Kimberly Keelor said Poulin, a Northville, New York native, accepted his commission into the Marines on May 7, the day before he graduated from the military school.

The Citadel President Gen. Glenn M. Walters released the following statement after learning of the shooting:

The Citadel family – in Charleston, South Carolina and around the world – is greatly saddened to learn about what happened to our Class of 2021 graduate, 2nd Lieutenant Samuel Poulin in Times Square on Sunday when he was hit by a bullet from a shooting event unrelated to him. We are encouraged that he is reported to be in stable condition are sending our prayers and our love to his new wife and his family. 2nd Lieutenant Poulin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics, was a President’s List cadet and exemplifies the kind of principled leader The Citadel strives to produce.

Representative Nancy Mace, who also graduated from the Citadel, said she’s working to reach out to Poulin’s family to offer support.

“We’re a very tight-knit community, and when someone needs help we’re going to be there for them,” she said. “And so as a mom… a young graduate, I think he was 21, it’s very scary and we all hope that he gets well as soon as possible.”

The Marine Corps told Live 5 News Poulin is awaiting training at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, later this year.

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