At least 10 Brooklyn subway riders were shot Tuesday by a man wearing a gas mask and a green construction vest who threw a smoke container into the train car to distract the rush-hour crowd before opening fire, officials and law enforcement sources said.
A further 19 others were injured in the chaos that followed the shooting aboard the N train to Manhattan at 36th Street and Fourth Avenue station in Sunset Park around 1 p.m. 8:30. The gunman was still at large seven hours later.
A source close to the investigation says his gun may have got stuck, which could potentially prevent further loss of human life. A weapon was found at the scene, as was a bag containing smoke containers and fireworks, giving further faith in the theory of a premeditated attack on New York City transit riders, sources and officials say.
A senior law enforcement official says authorities have a picture of the man they believe is the suspect and are working to identify him. They are also looking for a U-Haul van with Arizona plates that may be connected to the suspect.
The surveillance camera at the station did not work at the time, say three sources.
Five of the victims are said to be critically injured. Details about the nature of their wounds were not immediately clear. No deaths have been reported. It is not clear what kind of gun was used, nor was it immediately known how many shots were fired.
Witnesses said the entire train car smelled of gasoline, and MTA sources also described a similar odor, but law enforcement said no gas cans were found.
The smoke container and shocking video from the train gave rise to early concerns about possible explosive devices associated with the case, but NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell assured New Yorkers at a press conference early in the afternoon that there are no known explosive devices on any subway trains in the city. city at this time.
Some of the 10 wounded were sitting in the same train carriage as the suspect. Others were on the platform, authorities said. The train was still moving when Sewell says he put on a gas mask, threw a smoke container on the subway floor and started firing.
The train stopped at the next station, at 25th Street. Greenish smoke was seen spewing from the doors of the subway as the N train to Manhattan stopped at the platform. People were seen running and soft. A total of 29 were injured. The nearly two dozen victims who were not wounded by gunfire were wounded in the crowd reaction to the chaos.
Photos: Several people injured in Brooklyn Subway Shooting
A strap hanger that limped off the train fell and had to be helped away by fellow riders. Other images showed people bleeding on the platform. Some of the injured jumped on another train to flee to the next station, police sources said.
Witnesses said the entire train smelled of gas.
Police were combing underground tunnels, based on some witness reports, that he may have jumped to the track, but the gunman remained at large hours later.
A law enforcement source said the victims ranged in age from teenagers to middle-aged people. NYU Langone said it had received eight victims, five of them with either gunshot or grenade wounds and three with smoke inhalation.
Everyone was expected to survive, the hospital said.
Police described the suspected shooter as a man about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 170 pounds. He was wearing a gray hoodie over the green vest.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul addresses the shooting in a Brooklyn subway car and the escalating violence in New York City.
Police believe he acted alone. A number of sources say a fight may have unfolded on the train just before the shot broke out. One motive is under investigation, but right now the extensive hunt for the gunman is the investigators’ highest priority.
Experts say at this early stage that the shooting appears to have been an orchestrated attack, though they warn that much can change quickly as details evolve.
At present, the shooting is not being investigated as an act of terrorism, officials say.
The station on 36th Street, where the shooting happened, has about 9,000 people passed through this stop on an average weekday from February 2022, according to the MTA. It was 13,000 before the pandemic that crashed the subway across the city.
President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and US Attorney Merrick Garland were briefed on the incident. New York Mayor Eric Adams, who is isolating himself after a positive COVID-19 test on Sunday, said in a video statement that the city “will not allow New Yorkers to be terrorized, even by a single person.”
Several people were shot dead during a subway shooting in Brooklyn Tuesday morning. Mobile phone video shows commuters running from the platform while watching smoke.
The incident happened on a subway line that runs through southern Brooklyn in a neighborhood that is predominantly home to Latin American and Asian communities and about a 15-minute train ride to Manhattan. Local schools, including Sunset Park High School across the street from the station, were locked down.
Danny Mastrogiorgio from Brooklyn had just dropped his son off at school when he saw a lover in love, some of them injured, running up the subway stairs at the nearby 25th Street station in panic. At least two had visible leg injuries, he said.
“It was insane,” he told the AP. “No one knew exactly what was going on.”
Allan Lee was running his business, Cafe Nube, when half a dozen police cars and fire engines suddenly met on the block containing 36th Street station.
“Then they started leading people who were on the block to the adjacent block and then closed the entrance to the subway” near the cafe’s door, he told the AP. When he noticed bombers and dogs, he was sure it was not an everyday metro problem.
A sea of emergency lights was visible from at least a dozen streets away where a police roadblock had been set up.
New York City has faced a wave of shootings and high-profile incidents in recent months, including in the city’s subways. One of the most shocking was in January, when a woman was pushed to death in front of a train by a stranger.
Adams, a Democrat just over 100 days into office, has made the fight against crime – especially on the subways – a focus of his early administration, committing to sending more police officers to stations and platforms for regular patrols. It was not immediately clear if officers had already been inside the station when the shootings took place.
“We say: No more. No more mass shootings. No more disruptive lives. No more creating heartache for people just trying to live their lives like normal New Yorkers,” Hochul said. “It must stop.”
This is a development story. Please update for live updates
The Associated Press contributed to this report.