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Robbery attempt led to ice-rink shooting

Police officers guarded the perimeter of the skating rink after a shooting there late Saturday left two people wounded.

Robert Stolarik/New York Times

Police officers guarded the perimeter of the skating rink after a shooting there late Saturday left two people wounded.

NEW YORK — A teenager opened fire at a crowded Manhattan ice-skating rink, leaving two people wounded and blood splattered across the ice, after attempting to rob one of the victims of his coat, police said Sunday as they took the teen into custody for questioning.

The violence late Saturday at the Bryant Park rink sent skaters stampeding in all directions to safety. Authorities said a 14-year-old boy was struck in the back and a 20-year-old man was hit in the arm as the shooter opened fire in the popular park in midtown Manhattan, behind the main building of the New York Public Library. Neither injury was believed to be life-threatening.

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Authorities said the shooter had approached the 20-year-old man at the rink and demanded his coat. The man refused to hand it over, and the shooter left. Police say the shooter then returned and started firing.

‘‘It was terrifying; my legs were shaking,’’ said Raghuram Krishnamachari, who was dining with his family in a restaurant overlooking the park when they heard shots being fired. Krishnamachari and his family barricaded themselves in a bathroom at the glassed-in restaurant and called 911.

Charges were pending against the teen, whose name authorities did not release.

On a sun-drenched Sunday, the rink opened as normal and the park was again filled with skaters and other visitors enjoying the pre-holiday vendor shacks and eating at outdoor tables. Many had no idea there had been a shooting the night before.

Joe Carella, a spokesman for Bryant Park Corporation, the not-for-profit company that privately manages the park, said there were about 300 people on the ice at the time of the shooting.

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