Karen Matthews, Jim Mustian and Michael R. by Sisaki
NEW YORK (AP) – A gunman filled a crowded subway train with smoke and shot several people on Tuesday, leaving injured passengers bleeding on a Brooklyn platform while others shouted, officials said. he said. Police were still looking for the shooter.
At least 10 people were injured, and at least 16 were injured in the gunfight, which began on a subway train, at 36th Street station in the borough’s Sunset Park neighborhood, officials said. was drawn. New York Fire Department Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh said five people were in critical condition, but Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said no one was in danger.
Sewell said the attack was not being investigated as terrorism, but she was “not ruling out anything.” The shooter has not been identified.
Video of a train rider showing smoke and people exiting a subway car. There is a commotion as the passengers run to the exit as some others get off the train. One collapses on stage, and one person shouts, “Someone call 911!” In other videos and photos from the scene, people see passengers lying on the platform covered in blood, some among small puddles of blood, and another man on the floor of a subway car.
“My metro door opened in disaster. It was smoke and blood and people were screaming,” eyewitness Sam Carcamo told radio station 1010 WINS, adding that he saw a huge bill of smoke billowing out of the N train as he opened the door.
According to multiple law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation, preliminary information indicated that the gunman who fled was wearing a construction vest and a gas mask.
Investigators believe the gunman deployed a smoking device before opening fire, one of the law enforcement officers said. The officer said investigators are probing whether he may have used the device to distract people before the shooting.
Fire and police officers were investigating reports that an explosion had occurred, but Sewell said at a later afternoon press conference that there were no known explosive devices. Mayor’s spokesman Fabian Levy said several smoke devices were found at the scene.
According to a statement by the Transport Workers’ Union Local 100, no MTA worker was physically injured. In addition to gunshot wounds, the wounded were treated for smoke inhalation, shrapnel, and panic.
Juliana Fonda, a broadcast engineer for WNYC-FM, told her news site Gothamist that she was riding the train when passengers in the car behind her began banging on the door between them.
“There was a very loud noise and there was smoke in the other car,” he said. “And people were trying to get in and they couldn’t, they were banging on the door to get into our car.”
President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland were informed of the incident, as was Gov. Kathy Hochul. New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who is in isolation after a positive COVID-19 test on Sunday, was briefed at the mayor’s residence.
The incident occurred on a subway line that runs through South Brooklyn in a neighborhood – home to predominantly Hispanic and Asian communities – about a 15-minute train ride to Manhattan. Local schools were closed, including Sunset Park High School across the street.
Danny MastroGiorgio of Brooklyn had dropped off his son at school after he saw passers-by, some of them injured, panicked and climbed the subway ladder at the nearby 25th Street station. At least two have suffered leg injuries, he said.
“It was crazy,” he told the Associated Press. “No one knew what was really going on.”
Alan Lee was running his business, Café Newb, when a half-dozen police cars and fire engines suddenly gathered on the 36th Street station block.
“Then they started moving those people to a nearby block and then closed the entrance to the subway,” he told the AP. When he saw the officers and dogs of the bomb squad, he was convinced that this was not an everyday subway problem.
A sea of emergency lights was visible from at least a dozen blocks away, where a police cordon was set up.
New York City has suffered shootings and high-profile incidents in recent months, including on the city’s subways. The most shocking incident happened in January when a woman was pushed to death by a stranger in front of a train.
Adams, a Democrat, a little more than 100 days into his term, has turned crime crackdown — particularly on the subways — the focus of his early administration, pledging to send more police officers to stations and platforms for regular patrols. It was not immediately clear whether officers were already inside the station when the firing took place.
“We will not allow the people of New York to be terrorized, not even a single person,” Adams said in a taped video message from the mayor’s residence. He did not provide any additional details.
Associated Press reporters Michael Balsamo and Michelle L. Price and Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.