Home Featured Times Square shooter’s attorney begs to let case play out in court, not social media — as client pleads not guilty to attempted murder

Times Square shooter’s attorney begs to let case play out in court, not social media — as client pleads not guilty to attempted murder

Times Square shooter’s attorney begs to let case play out in court, not social media — as client pleads not guilty to attempted murder

The migrant teen who allegedly shot a tourist and fired on NYPD officers in Times Square pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of attempted murder — as his lawyer begged the public to let the case play out in court, not on social media.

“This case … has gotten a lot of media attention,” defense attorney Adrienne Doreen Edward said of the Feb. 8 shooting allegedly committed by 15-year-old Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa, of Venezuela.

“I’m asking everybody to let this case play out in the courtroom — not on social media, or in the press, where it has taken on its own identity.”

Edward made the statements right after a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court in which her client pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with two counts each of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree attempted assault, one count of second-degree assault and a pair of weapons charges.

Jesus Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court as he was set to be arraigned in the suspected robbery gone wrong, authorities said. Steven Hirsch
The 15-year-old was charged as an adult with attempted murder after allegedly firing a gun at a security guard and NYPD cops in Times Square and injuring a tourist in the process. Steven Hirsch

Judge Stephen Antignani remanded Rivas-Figueroa, who tried to flee the city with his mom after the shooting and was described by authorities as “armed and dangerous” during the subsequent manhunt.

Police caught up with the pair less than 24 hours later, busting into a Yonkers home where the young alleged triggerman was “hiding behind a wardrobe in a further attempt to evade police,” authorities have said.

Edward said there is a massive case file she must parse through that includes footage from 120 police body cameras and more than 1,000 pages of discovery.

Rivas-Figueroa’s dad, Juan Carlos Gonzales, was also at the hearing — but the attorney wouldn’t let him answer when asked if he thought his son was guilty or not.

Police activity near the scene of the shooting on West 42nd Street. William C Lopez/New York Post
Rivas-Figueroa allegedly pulled out a “very large” .45-caliber handgun and fired at the guard and “into a crowd,” according to police. BRIGITTE STELZER

“I’m not even going to allow him to say that,” Edward told The Post, adding that Rivas-Figueroa’s dad couldn’t control what his son did. “This case is going to play out in the courtroom where it is, not in the media.”

“Anything dealing with guilt or innocence will be dealt [with] in the courtroom,” she said. “It’s not going to be done in the press. And his opinion as to what he did or didn’t do, what the reasons for it [were] … to me are really not relevant. So I won’t even have him answer that.”

Gonzales — who looked on somberly during the court proceeding — would only say that he felt “bad” about the charges against his son and declined to comment further.

In announcing the indictment, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said the shooting happened “in the middle of a crowded Times Square teeming with New Yorkers and tourists.”

Rivas-Figueroa arrived in the United States back in September. Steven Hirsch
Authorities took the Venezuelan teen into custody in Yonkers. BRIGITTE STELZER

Here’s the latest on the Times Square shooting

  • NYPD has identified Jesus Lejenadro Rivas-Figueroa, 15, as the suspect connected to the Thursday night shooting, Chief of Patrol John Chell said.
  • Prosecutors asked the judge to send the teen to jail without bail because “he has significant ties out of the United States” and has only been here “for a short time.”
  • The teen, who did not enter a plea, was charged as an adult, but will be sent to a juvenile facility because of his age, officials said.
  • A tourist was shot in the leg at a retail store in Times Square on Thursday night by a shoplifter. The shoplifter then opened fire at an NYPD officer in Midtown, according to police.
  • A security guard at JD Sports at West 42 Street and Broadway approached a group of young males to stop them from stealing when one pulled out a gun, fired it in her direction, and missed, hitting the nearby tourist.
  • Sources said Friday that the 15-year-old and a third person were taken into custody and later released.

“This defendant is charged with allegedly recklessly firing his weapon inside of a store – striking a tourist — and then turning the gun on a police officer who was courageously attempting to place him under arrest,” Bragg said in a statement.

“We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure full accountability for gun violence.”

Rivas-Figueroa arrived in the United States in September and had been staying in a temporary shelter at the Stratford Hotel on West 70th Street.

The 15-year-old alleged Times Square shooter is seen crying when he was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in Yonkers. Obtained by NY Post
Officers with the U.S. Marshal Fugitive Task Force appear to try to talk to the teen as they arrest him. Obtained by NY Post

Cops said he and two other teens were trying to shoplift from JD Sports, a sports-fashion retail store, on West 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue at around 7 p.m. when a security guard stopped them.

Authorities say Rivas-Figueroa pulled out a .45-caliber pistol and shot at the guard — but the bullet inadvertently struck a nearby tourist in the leg.

Video footage allegedly shows Rivas-Figueroa, who was in an all-white outfit, and the other teen bolt from the store, police officials said. Cops chased them, with one of the officers snatching the unidentified teen and the other keeping after the gunman.

“If you think you (can) attack a member of this department, if you think you could threaten the lives of the very people who keep us safe, if you think you could put others at deadly risk and get away with it, then think again,” Police Commissioner Edward Caban said. Tomas E. Gaston

That’s when he turned and fired toward the cop, NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell said previously.

The wounded tourist got 13 stitches in her leg at Bellevue Hospital and was later released.

Edward, the attorney, said her client “understands the severity of these charges” and also the climate of the case.

Rivas-Figueroa’s next hearing is April 19.