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Subway shooter | The manhunt continues in New York

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(New York) New York police continued Wednesday the hunt for a gunman who caused chaos the day before in the subway and wounded at least 23 people, including 10 by bullets, while millions of employees resumed transport for go to work.

New York Mayor Eric Adams called on New Yorkers to be “vigilant”, while ruling out at this stage that the shooter, still on the run 24 hours after the incident, has an accomplice.

“He seems to have acted alone”, declared on the MSNBC channel the Democratic mayor, who took office on 1er January by promising to put the megalopolis back on track after the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the fight against crime.


NYDP PHOTO VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

Frank R. James

The noose has also tightened around a man, simply presented on Tuesday by the police (NYPD) as a “person of interest” for the investigation, but now qualified as “suspect” by the mayor of New York .

On Tuesday, the NYPD had released photos of this individual, Frank James, indicating that he had rented the van found in Brooklyn and whose key was discovered at the crime scene.

And Wednesday morning, New Yorkers received messages on their phones giving the description of this “62-year-old black man”, asking to alert the police to give any useful information to the investigation.

No choice

The man posted various videos on YouTube, where he delivers long political tirades, sometimes virulent, and criticizes Eric Adams, which prompted the police to tighten security around the mayor.

As the hunt for the shooter, described as “dangerous” the day before, continued, millions of New Yorkers took to commuting to work, some posting selfies on social media to show that life was getting back to normal.

“I don’t really have a choice, I have to take the metro. I hope it will be safer today. It felt a little emptier,” said one passenger, Laura Swalm, 49, who lives in neighboring New Jersey.

“I always pay attention to my surroundings since September 11 (2001). But there have been more incidents on the docks recently, so I’m paying more attention,” she told AFP.

The Twitter account of the New York subway, one of the largest networks in the world, announced early Wednesday morning the return of “full service” on all lines, in particular at the “36th street” station in southern Brooklyn, where the shooter has raged and where several lines pass.

33 bullets fired

Tuesday morning, around 8:30 a.m., at a time when the metro trains are crowded, the individual, who was wearing a gas mask, lit two devices which smoked the car, then shot at the passengers while the train was entering the station.

“We were really lucky that it wasn’t much more serious,” said New York Police Chief (NYPD) Keechant Sewell, summarizing the authorities’ relief after this attack where the suspect – still on the run – fired 33 rounds.

“All you see is black smoke, and I turned to the right, and I saw this guy with a mask,” testified on CNN one of the victims, Hourari Benkada, since his hospital bed.

“The shooting lasted about a minute, I would say about ten shots […]. I’ve never heard so many shots come out of a handgun… […] He probably had extended magazines or another firearm,” added the man, shot in the knee. At the scene, investigators found a handgun and three magazines.

Tuesday’s attack came as New York has faced a spike in crime since the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of homicides rising from 319 in 2019 to 488 in 2021, although the annual toll remains well below the more than 2,000 per year recorded in the early 1990s.



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