At least 16 people were shot or otherwise injured after a gunman in a reflective vest and a gas mask threw smoke bombs on a subway car in Brooklyn and began shooting Tuesday morning.
SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) — At least 16 people were shot or otherwise injured after a lone gunman in a reflective vest and a gas mask threw smoke bombs on a subway car in Brooklyn and began shooting Tuesday morning.
A manhunt is now underway as details continue to emerge in this developing situation.
Police say the shooting happened on a Manhattan bound N train making express stops just before 8:30 a.m., and that the suspect was seen mumbling to himself before donning the gas mask and removing a canister from a bag before the car began to fill with smoke.
He then opened fire with a handgun, striking several people on the train and on the platform at the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park.
The train then continued to the 25th Street station in Greenwood Heights.
“This perpetrator dropped those smoke cans, if that’s what they are, and shot around, and then exited from that point,” retired NYC Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. “He’s not going to stay on there if there’s smoke on there, even if he has the filter mask.”
Shell casings were recovered on the train and on the platform along with a handgun that had three extended round magazines. One in the gun jammed, which is believed to have saved lives.
Multiple smoke devices and a bag of commercial grade fireworks were also recovered.
While the cameras in the station were inoperable, law enforcement officials were able to get an image of the suspect from a bystander’s cell phone video.
Mayor Eric Adams, who remains under quarantine due to his COVID diagnosis, released a video statement on his various social media accounts.
“We’re praying for all New Yorkers who were injured or affected by today’s attack,” he said. “So far, we know that we have a multiple number of injuries, including victims of gunshot wounds…We will not allow New Yorkers to be terrorized even by a single individual. The NYPD is searching for the suspect at large, and we will find him.”
Officials confirmed 10 of the victims, who range in age from 17 to 50, were shot, and five are listed in critical but stable condition. None of the injuries are considered life threatening.
It is unclear if the gunman fled out of a station or into the subway tunnel.
Governor Kathy Hochul called the suspect “cold hearted and depraved” and warned that he remains on the loose and dangerous.
“We say no more,” she said. “No more mass shootings. No more disrupting lives. No more creating heartbreak for people just trying to live their lives as normal New Yorkers. It has to end and it ends now…Everyone involved in this has one purpose, and it is to stop the insanity of these crimes.”
NYU Langone-Brooklyn told the ABC News Medical Unit they took eight patients who are in stable condition, while five of the victims are at Maimonides Medical Center, with two were being treated for gunshot wounds and three for smoke inhalation.
NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital is currently treating a total of three patients.
No arrests have been made, and schools in the area went into a shelter in place as the search continues. Those shelter in place orders started lifting at some schools by 1 p.m. but will remain in place at the schools closest to the shooting scene.
Police were looking at as many as four packages initially deemed suspicious, but they were later determined to be unfounded.
“I saw a lot of people coming out of the train station,” said a man who works in the area. “One of them was injured. I believe it was a lady that was getting shot in her leg, and a lot of people was coming up from side to side, screaming, asking for help.”
A mother described a chaotic scene after dropping her daughter off at school.
“All you heard was a big, loud noise that sounded like a big bang, an explosion, and then there were people running out of the train station,” she said. “So it was just very hectic this morning.”
A student from Brooklyn Tech was on the subway when it happened.
“I was a few cars down, and the conductor told everyone to get on the train,” he said. “I was just scared, and at the next stop, he told everyone to get off. Everyone evacuated, and I didn’t know what happened.”