Twenty-nine people were injured, including ten by gunshot, following a savage attack by an individual on Tuesday morning at station 36 th New York City Subway Street in Brooklyn.
On Tuesday evening, the individual who committed these acts was still at large. The New York City Police (NYPD) are actively looking for Frank James, a person of interest in the investigation. Shortly before 8 p.m., police tweeted for information.
The suspect is described as “a black man” about 1.65m tall, “heavyweight”, and wearing a “green and orange construction vest” and a gray hooded sweatshirt. According to CNN, the police department would also have an interest in a U-Haul type truck with an Arizona license plate.
In addition, the NYPD does not currently consider this event as a terrorist act, while adding that all hypotheses remain open.
The shooting began during rush hour Tuesday morning.
“At 8:24 a.m. as a metro N train was about to enter the station at 36and Street [en direction de Manhattan], a man donned a gas mask before pulling a smoke device from his bag and opening it, NYPD Commissioner Keyshawn Sewell said. The car filled with smoke and that’s when the man started shooting around, inside the train and on the platform. »
Of the ten victims shot, five were considered to be in critical but stable condition. The other injured were inconvenienced by smoke, shrapnel (unidentified) or suffered nervous shock.
According to US media citing unnamed police sources, a Glock-type weapon and two magazines were found at the station. This leads them to believe that the number of victims could have been higher. The police did not confirm this information.
The shooter would be a black man of 1.67 m and weighing around 77 kilos, rather hefty, also said Commissioner Sewell. He was wearing what looked like a green construction jacket and a gray hoodie. In an interview at New York Post within minutes of the attack, a woman said she mistook the assailant for an employee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the equivalent of the STM in Montreal.
“At first I thought this man was an MTA employee and didn’t pay too much attention to him,” said the woman named Clair. I heard gunshots. There were so many that I lost count. »
The FBI is collaborating in the investigation with the NYPD. If the police services had few details to give about the suspect, it is partly due to the fact that the surveillance cameras of station 36th Street weren’t working, sources told the New York Post. The police asked anyone in possession of iconographic material related to this event to share it with the sleuths.
According to American media, the firefighters, first to arrive on the scene, found several unprimed explosive devices in the vicinity. The police, however, wanted to be reassuring by indicating that no other active device of this type was found in the New York subway.
In the minutes following the attack, metro users began to upload photos and videos, with very graphic content, captured on the spot. These images showed the extent of the chaos and panic reigning at the station of the 36and Street. On video, we saw dozens of people leaving, some visibly injured, or staggering from a subway train from which thick smoke escaped.
A first call was made to New York police at 8:27 a.m. to report the gunshots. The 36 stationand Rue serves New York’s D, N, and R lines. The service was obviously very disrupted on these.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who is in self-isolation due to COVID-19, has been briefed on the situation and is monitoring it closely, authorities said. He called the attack a “senseless act of violence”.
President Joe Biden was also made aware of what was happening, his spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Twitter. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul attended the press conference and expressed her disgust. “That’s enough, the mass shootings,” she said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives (ATA) is on the scene to assist investigators in their work, it was also said.
Students at all schools in the Sunset Park area have been sheltered in place, the Department of Education said without giving further details.
In the wake of the attack, several city transit services increased the number of patrols, including Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Washington.
Previously, in the long history of the New York subway, a shooting marked the memories, that of December 22, 1984 when a man named Bernhard Goetz shot and wounded four young men claiming that they were trying to rob him.
The case had created a huge debate about self-defense in the United States. Goetz served an eight-month prison sentence for possession of an illegal weapon. On the other hand, he lost a civil lawsuit against one of his victims and ordered to pay him 43 million dollars. Soon after, Goetz declared bankruptcy.
With CNN, Agence France-Presse and the New York Post