BOERUM HILL, Brooklyn (PIX11) — The search remains underway for at least one man who stabbed an 18-year-old on a subway train Thursday night, killing the victim.
The attack, while apparently isolated, has some subway riders concerned that violence on the subway is part of the riding experience, despite the fact that subway crime has declined this year.
The stabbing happened at around 11:30 p.m., according to the NYPD, on the Manhattan-bound D train.
When it pulled into the Pacific Avenue station, part of the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center station complex, the 18-year-old man stumbled out, bleeding from a stab wound. Medics rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he died a few hours later.
The victim and the assailant had been riding on the train with small groups of friends who were not involved in the attack, according to Janno Lieber, the chair of the MTA, at a news conference on Friday morning.
He also said that the attacker ran upstairs to the street and fled.
The escape was almost certainly captured on a variety of video feeds, according to Lieber, who said that the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center station is one through which he passes on his daily commute.
“There are 156 cameras there,” he said, “so there’s a lot of video. There’s also some bystander video. There’s a lot of video evidence that’s being combed through that we believe will be helpful for the investigation.”
Lieber added that the station complex, which serves eight subway lines and the LIRR, has a lot of uniformed officers posted.
“In addition to a very significant NYPD presence, we also have the MTA P.D.,” he said.
Their deployment is part of an enforcement initiative launched last fall called Cops, Cameras and Care. Since then, subway crime has declined overall.
The latest New York City crime statistics show that transit crimes have continued to follow a general downward trend.
From January through March of this year, transit crime is down eight percent compared to the same period last year. However, comparing the month of March 2023 with March 2022, there’s a significant increase in transit crime, 24.5%.
One straphanger, Christopher Santana, said that he was not surprised.
“Every day, it’s a gamble when you get on the train. You got these guys standing there,” Santana said, pointing to some police officers standing nearby, “and it’s still scary.”
The MTA has reported a steady increase in ridership this year, to 69% of pre-pandemic levels, but some of those riders said that with their riding experience, they’ve come to expect some violent crime.
“It could happen anywhere,” said Hayes Greenfield as he prepared to board the D train. “That’s a problem. You have to be very careful.”
Leslie Jimenez, another subway passenger, agreed.
“I always have to keep looking around to see if everything’s okay,” Jimenez said. “I used to be on the train with headphones, but now I only have one on, just to make sure I can know what’s going on around me.”
As of Friday evening, police had not officially released the name of the stabbing victim.