Five miles from where a man opened fire on a Brooklyn subway train and shot dead 10 people during a morning rush, police found a rented U-Haul van late Tuesday that was believed to have been driven by a gunman, a senior law enforcement officer. said an official.
But the van was empty, the officer said, and the shooter remained at large, while agents from dozens of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies searched for him more than eight hours after he put a gas mask on a crowded N train, dropped a box of smoke and fired.
At least 16 people were injured, 10 of them in a shooting, on a train and on the platform of a busy 36th Street station in the Sunset Park neighborhood, where three subway lines meet. The fire department said five victims were in critical condition, but no one was thought to have received life-threatening injuries.
The shooting, shortly before 8:30 a.m., caused panic and chaos on the train, at the station and in the surrounding streets, and caused schools in the area to close, which lasted much of the day. This happened as the city was already struggling to cope with both the increase in shootings throughout the city and the increase in crime and subway riots, which scared passengers back to a transit system that saw a sharp drop in passenger traffic. time of the pandemic.
Mayor Eric Adams said the search for the shooter was hampered by the fact that at least one security camera at 36th Street Subway Station, which may have captured the scene, was not working. There was a “malfunction in the camera system of this particular station,” Mr Adams told WCBS 880 radio.
Witnesses to the shooting described the shooter as a short, dark-skinned man with a fat physique, wearing a green construction vest and a gray sweatshirt.
The van was spotted in front of a residential building on West 3rd Street just off the Kings Highway in the Gravesend neighborhood, a senior law enforcement official said.
The officer also said that a gun was found in the metro station. Authorities did not say the suspect’s name or motives. But another senior police officer said the attack appeared to be planned and showed no signs of stemming from something spontaneous, such as a train dispute.
As the gunfire unfolded and the doors of train N opened, sending smoke out of the station, the frightened riders fled, many rushing to train R, sitting on the other side of the platform. Subway seats and cars were stained with blood as people cried for help.
The wounded are lying at the 36th Street metro station after the shooting. Credit … Armen Armen, through Reuters
John Bucikares, a 15-year-old freshman at Brooklyn Technical High School, said his R-Bay ride from Bay Ridge was a quiet one until the train approached 36th Street. When the doors opened, the conductor directed the platform passengers to rush into R.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “It was just panic.”
VideoOfficials said at least 16 people were injured after a man dropped a box of smoke and opened fire on train N in Brooklyn.CreditCredit … Dakota Santiago for The New York Times
Jose Echevaria, 50, an electrician who went to work in Manhattan, said he was going to switch from R to N when he saw smoke and shots fired at N and people fleeing.
He said he grabbed a young man who had been shot in the leg and was bleeding profusely, and helped him get on train R. “He was so scared,” Mr Echevaria said. The young man told Mr Echevaria that he had seen the shooter for the first time at the New Utrecht Avenue station, four stops before 36th Street.
During a briefing, Commissioner Sewell said police were looking for a man with a severe physique who was wearing a green construction vest and a gray sweatshirt. She said no active explosive devices were found at the scene or on the trains.
Patrick Berry, 41, said he was waiting at 25th Street Station, one stop north, when Train R arrived around 8:30 a.m. He and his 3-year-old daughter boarded, but the train did not move.
“Then suddenly from the front of the train I heard people shouting, ‘Run, run, run!’ Come on, come on, come on! ‘ And then all these people sprinted past our car, and I just felt, “Oh my God, it’s a bump,” Mr. Berry said. “People started pushing from behind. So I grabbed my daughter and we ran away too.
In front of the train, three victims were served by passers-by. A uniformed police officer approached and asked the passengers to call 911 because his radio was down. A teenager who introduced himself as Fitim had a hole in his pants that he said came from a bullet.
Around a station on 36th Street, dozens of police cars with flashing lights clogged the streets and helicopters flew over them.
“We saw an ambulance come out on a stretcher with a man on it,” said Silvana Guerrero, 20, who works at a nearby Sunset Bagels cafe and grill. “Their leg was injured – I’m not sure what exactly happened or what happened. And then we saw two ambulances coming out, with two people jumping on one leg.
Fifteen people have been treated at hospitals for injuries, including gunshot wounds and smoke inhalation: eight at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, five at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn and three at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, hospitals said.
The report was provided by Jonah E. Bromwich, Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Joseph Goldstein, Andrew Hinderaker, Sadef Ali Cooley, Anna Lay, Chelsea Rose Marcius and William K. Rashbaum.