By Jake Pearson
NEW YORK — A shooting at the ice rink of a popular midtown Manhattan park late Saturday sent two men to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
Emergency crews responded to reports of a shooting at Bryant Park just after 11 p.m., officials said. One man was shot in the torso; the other in one of his legs and they were taken to Bellevue Hospital Center.
"People just fell on the floor because they heard a gunshot and they had ice skating skates on so they couldn't run," said Raghuram Krishnamachari, 29, of Brooklyn, who was eating dinner with his girlfriend and her family at the park's second-floor restaurant Celsius. Their table was next to a window overlooking the rink.
"People were scared they didn't know what was going on," he said.
Krishnamachari said he heard three shots ring out and saw skaters down below scramble for safety, while one person lay immobile on the rink. He said restaurant patrons were told to lie on the floor and eventually were ushered to a back room.
"We didn't know anything. The shooter could've been a lunatic with a machine gun," he said.
Police said early Sunday they had no one in custody.
The park, located in a bustling section of midtown Manhattan between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and near the New York Public Library, is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
The ice skating rink, which is free to use, is open until midnight on the weekends. The park also features green space, restaurants and tables and chairs for public use.
Joe Carella, a spokesman for Bryant Park Corporation, the not-for-profit company that privately manages the park, said the park is virtually crime free.
A representative for Upsilon Ventures, the company that produces the Winter Village at Bryant Park, couldn't be reached.
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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press