SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Ten people were shot and 13 others were injured in a Brooklyn subway station attack Tuesday morning, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell confirmed at an NYPD presser Tuesday evening.
On a northbound N train just before 8:25 a.m., a man put on a gas mask, pulled out two canisters and opened fire as smoke filled the train, Sewell said.
Seven men and three women were shot by the suspect, who fired his weapon 33 times, officials said. He used a Glock 9mm handgun with an extended magazine. Police found two additional extended magazine clips on the train following the shooting.
A person of interest, 62-year-old Frank R. James, was named in connection with the attack. He was not a suspect, as of Tuesday evening, police said.
Five of the victims were in critical condition. Aside from gunshot wounds, other injuries included smoke inhalation, injuries from shrapnel and panic attacks. Police said none of the injuries were life-threatening.
The incident was not being investigated as a terror attack, officials said. However, the investigation remained ongoing Tuesday evening. The NYPD, MTA and TWU transit union posted a combined $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.
The FDNY said a call came in at around 8:27 a.m. for smoke in the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park. Upon arrival, responders found the victims and several undetonated devices at the same location. Police said there were no active explosive devices left at the scene.
At least three patients were treated at Methodist Hospital, according to PIX11’s Anthony DiLorenzo. A woman sustained a gunshot wound to the back and the other two victims sustained leg and head injuries, respectively.
In addition to the handgun and extended magazines, a hatchet, fireworks and a liquid believed to be gasoline were discovered on the train, police said. Investigators also recovered a U-Haul van key on the train. That key led them to the person of interest, James, who police said rented the van in Philadelphia.
Officials said the suspect was seen leaving the train wearing a neon construction vest and a gas mask. Police described the suspect as weighing 160 to 200 pounds and 5 feet, 5 inches tall.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams was not at the scene. He was recently diagnosed with COVID. However, he released a video after the attack and later spoke via video conferencing during an NYPD briefing.
“We will not allow New Yorkers to be terrorized, even by a single individual,” he said. “The NYPD is searching for the suspect at large and we will find him. We ask the public to come forward with any information that may help us in this investigation.”
Adams, a Democrat a little over 100 days into his term, has made cracking down on crime — especially on the subways — a focus of his early administration, pledging to send more police officers into stations and platforms for regular patrols.
There were some “concerning” social media posts police believe may be connected to James, Sewell said. They mentioned homelessness and New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Security for the mayor was increased because of the posts.
According to an NYPD official, officers were not in the station before the attack unfolded. He said officers had patrolled the station earlier in the morning but were not in the station when the violence began. Police were also investigating why MTA surveillance cameras appeared to not be working at the station.
Warning: The video below contains graphic footage that may be disturbing to some.
DRAMATIC VIDEO: Multiple people were shot at the 36th street subway station in Brooklyn Tuesday morning, officials said. MTA said police are sweeping all of South Brooklyn as they continue to search for the suspect. pic.twitter.com/15xqGbcayM— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) April 12, 2022
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