Bustling with activities ranging from movies on the grass in the summer to concerts and special events year round, Bryant Park draws both New Yorkers and out-of-towners.
Some sit in enclosed restaurants nestled in back of the library, overlooking the greenery.
Among them Saturday night was Krishnamachari, who used his cellphone to snap a picture of the violence.
The 29-year-old software architect was dining at Celsius, a second-floor restaurant above the rink, when he heard the shots at about 11 p.m.
“Then we saw a bunch of people running on the ice,” said Krishnamachari, who was with his girlfriend, her sister from Florida and the sister’s husband — out for dinner after a Broadway show. Restaurant guests “were freaking out, shouting and running. My girlfriend started crying.”
Krishnamachari said he worried the gunman would enter the building. He saw an “out of order” sign on a bathroom, which is where he locked in his family and a few others for about five minutes — until he heard voices outside say that it was over. The gunman apparently had fled.
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.
Afterward, Krishnamachari walked to the nearby hotel where his sister-in-law was staying.
“We grabbed a bottle of wine and some food, and we went to their room and stayed there all night,” he said. “They were shaken up and we didn’t want them to be alone.”