A robber possibly armed with a machine gun stormed into a jewelry shop in the heart of Manhattan’s Diamond District on Tuesday afternoon and pistol-whipped a worker – and police were “treating it like a hostage situation,” said law enforcement sources and witnesses.
A 911 caller reported that a man wearing a gray trench coat and carrying a submachine gun burst into the building at 23 W. 47th St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues, around 2:45 p.m., officials said.
The gunman, who may have had two accomplices, was still in the building at 4 p.m., according to a police source.
The brutal robber pistol-whipped an older man, believed to be the owner, and began rifling through a safe on the eighth floor, a witness said.
“One of the men had a machine gun. They pistol-whipped somebody on the eighth floor. They are still inside,” said Lukas Miksi-Sahdo, who was in the building during the attack.
A SWAT team rushed to the scene, and other officers roped off a portion of the block and pushed residents and workers nearly a block away.
Cops called for their elite Emergency Services Unit, as well as Aviation, as they swept the building and surrounding area for the armed suspect, law enforcement sources said.
Read more at the New York Post.