Videos showed a man with gray hair walking back and forth in front of the UN with what appeared to be a long firearm
A man with a gun who had paced for hours in front of the United Nations has been arrested, New York police say.
“In regard to reports of a man with a firearm at 42nd Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan—the individual is now in custody and there is NO THREAT to the public,” the NYPD tweeted. “Continue to avoid the area and expect delays. More information to follow when available.”
Earlier on Thursday, police had swarmed the United Nations after a man was seen pacing outside the building with the weapon.
Videos from the scene showed a man with gray hair, wearing a red sweater and brown jacket, walking back and forth in front of the UN’s front entrance with what appeared to be a long firearm in his hands.
Several police vehicles and personnel were also at the scene, with multiple officers aiming guns at the suspect. Someone, possibly a member of the police, could be heard talking to him.
UN employees were asked to shelter in place, a journalist with UN News Centre reported.
On Twitter, the New York Police Department warned the public to stay away.
“Due to a police investigation, avoid the area of 42 Street and 1st Avenue,” the NYPD tweeted. “Expect emergency vehicles in the surrounding area. Traffic along the FDR Drive is affected. Use an alternate route if traveling in the area.”
According to a Patch report, the standoff began at around 11am. Hours later, police were still trying to talk to the man, who was holding the gun vertically against his torso – possibly aiming it at his own head.
At about 12:30pm, police could be seen bringing in multiple armoured vehicles, including one labeled “Emergency Rescue.”
At 12:35, police gave an update on the situation.
“The incident at 42nd Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan is ongoing at this time,” the NYPD tweeted. “Please continue to stay clear of the area and expect traffic delays. There is currently NO THREAT to the public.”
Later, the journalist who had reported the UN lockdown said the situation seemed to be under control.
“UPDATE: situation seems to be resolved, individual is now under NYPD custody,” Laura Quinones reported.
The NYPD has not revealed the name of the suspect, and his motive so far remains unclear.