At least 10 Brooklyn subway riders were shot dead Tuesday by a man wearing a gas mask and a green construction robe who threw a bottle of smoke into a crowded train car before firing, officials and law enforcement sources said.
A source close to the investigation, he may have been caught in a gunfight and could have been killed. A weapon was recovered at the scene, as well as a bag containing smoke bottles and crackers, which adds further credibility to the theory of a planned attack on New York City traffic riders, sources and officials say.
The man who opened fire on Manhattan’s train at 36th Street and Fourth Avenue in Sunset Park at 8:30 a.m. has been out for more than six hours.
According to law enforcement officials, police are searching for a U-Haul van with an AL31408 Arizona license plate associated with the suspect.
Five of the victims are said to have been seriously injured in the shooting. Details of the nature of their injuries were not immediately known. No casualties were reported. It is not clear what type of gun was used and how many were fired.
Witnesses said there was a smell of petrol all over the train car, and MTA sources described a similar smell, but law enforcement officials said no gas cans were available.
The smoky bottle and the gruesome video from the train sparked initial concerns about possible explosives attached to the case, but NYPD Commissioner Kiechant Sewell assured New Yorkers at an early morning news conference that there were no known explosives on any of the subway trains. The city at this time.
Pictures: Many injured in Brooklyn subway shooting
Some of the 10 injured were in the same train compartment of the suspect. Others were on stage, officials said. The train was still moving when Sewell said he wore a gas mask, threw a smoke bottle at the subway car and began filming.
The train stopped at 25th Street at the next station. Green smoke billowed from the subway doors as the N train to Manhattan stopped on the platform. People were seen running and bleeding. A total of 16 people were injured. Half a dozen victims who were not injured in the shooting were injured in the crowd’s response to the chaos.
A straffener that stumbled from the train fell down and had to be assisted by fellow riders. Other photos showed people bleeding on the platform. Law enforcement sources said some of the injured jumped on another train to escape to the next station.
Eyewitnesses said the train smelled of gas.
New York Governor Kathy Hochzul addresses the shooting in a Brooklyn subway car and the escalation of violence across New York City.
Police were passing through the tunnel tunnels based on reports from some witnesses that he may have jumped the rails, but the gunman was in a relaxed position a few hours later.
A law enforcement agency said the victims ranged in age from teenagers to middle-aged. NYU Langone, eight people were injured, five of them with gunshot or stab wounds and three inhaling smoke.
The hospital said everyone would survive.
Police say the suspect was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 170 pounds. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt in addition to the green vest.
Police believe he acted alone. Several sources say the train may have crashed shortly before the shooting. One motive is under investigation, however, and it is now the primary focus of investigators to fully hunt down the gunman.
Several people were shot during a tunnel shooting in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning. The cell phone video shows passengers running from the platform while watching the smoke.
At this early stage, experts say the shooting appears to have been a premeditated attack, although warns that details could change rapidly as they develop.
In this case, authorities say the shooting was not investigated as a terrorist act.
According to the MTA, the 36th Street station where the shootings took place had an average of about 9,000 people passing through that stop on an average weekday until February 2022. It was 13,000 before the epidemic, which engulfed subway commuters across the city.
President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and US Attorney General Merrick Garland explained the incident. Isolated following a positive COVID-19 test on Sunday, New York Mayor Eric Adams said in a video statement that “the city will not allow even an individual to intimidate New Yorkers.”
The incident took place on a tunnel passing through South Brooklyn, a neighborhood mostly inhabited by Hispanic and Asian communities and about a 15-minute train ride to Manhattan. Local schools were closed, including Sunset Park High School, opposite the station.
When Danny Mastrogio of Brooklyn dropped his son off at school, he saw passengers crashing, some of them injured, and panicked as they ran through the subway stairs at the nearby 25th Street station. At least two people were aware of the foot injuries, he said.
“It’s insane,” he told the AP. “No one really knows what’s going on.”
Alan Lee was running his business, Cafe Nube, when half a dozen police cars and fire trucks suddenly gathered at the block on the 36th Street station.
“Then they started taking those in the block to a nearby block and then closing the tunnel entrance,” he told the AP, near the hotel door. When he looked at the bomb disposal unit officers and the dogs, he was convinced that it was not an everyday tunnel issue.
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 experienced shootings and high-profile incidents in recent months, including city subways. One of the most shocking was in January when a woman was pushed in front of a train by a stranger and died.
Adams, a Democrat who has been fighting crime for more than 100 days during his tenure, promised to send more police officers to regular patrols of stations and sites, especially at the heart of his early administration. It was not immediately clear if officers were already inside the station at the time of the shooting.
“We say: no more. No more mass shootings. No more disrupting life. No more creating grief for people trying to live their lives as ordinary New Yorkers,” Hochul said. “It has to come to an end.”
This is a growing story. Update for live notifications
The Associated Press contributed to this report.