NEW YORK CITY — The NYPD deployed hundreds of additional officers to the subway system Saturday following at least four stabbings along the A line in less than 24 hours, police said.
Investigators believe three of the stabbings — two of which were fatal — are connected, and they’re looking into whether the fourth stabbing is also linked.
“The common denominators that we see in these four incidents are the proximity of the crimes as well as all four occurring on the A line,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said during a news conference Saturday. Watch the briefing below or click here.
The first deadly stabbing was reported to police around 11:30 p.m. Friday. Officers called to the Mott Avenue-Beach 22nd Street station in Far Rockaway, Queens, discovered a man with numerous stab wounds to his neck and torso sitting on a bench inside the train, according to the NYPD. The unidentified victim was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Then around 1:15 a.m. Saturday, a 44-year-old woman was found with multiple stab wounds lying under a bench inside an A train stopped at the West 207th Street-Broadway station in Inwood, Manhattan, according to the NYPD. She was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, authorities said.
About 15 minutes later, a 43-year-old man was stabbed at the 181st Street A line station, police said. He was taken to a hospital in stable condition and underwent surgery, according to authorities.
A fourth stabbing, which also took place at the 181st Street A line station around 11:20 a.m. on Friday, may be connected as well, police said. The 67-year-old victim told investigators a man walked up and stabbed him in a random, unprovoked attack, according to authorities.
All of the victims are believed to be homeless, police said.
In response, Shea said 500 officers were being deployed to the subway system. Some of the officers were being reassigned and others were brought in on overtime, Shea said.
The police commissioner called the surge in officers a “significant increase” in police presence throughout the subway system.
The stabbings are the latest in a string of violent crimes in the city’s transit system.
A joint statement released Saturday by interim NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg and TWU Local 100 union President Tony Utano called for an immediate increase to the number of NYPD officers on subways.
“The recent horrifying attacks in the subway system are outrageous and unacceptable. Every customer, and each of our brave, heroic transit workers deserve a safe and secure transit system,” the statement said. “We have been calling on the city to add more police to the system, and to do more to assist those who desperately need mental health assistance. The time for action is now. We are demanding that additional resources be put into the system to address this challenge immediately. Our hearts go out to the victims, as we cooperate with active investigations and urge prosecutors to pursue maximum penalties for perpetrators.”
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).