(Headline USA) A gunman in a gas mask and a construction vest set off a smoke canister on a rush-hour subway train in Brooklyn and shot at least 10 people Tuesday, authorities said. Police were scouring the city for the shooter and a rental truck.
A scene of horror unfolded as frightened commuters ran from the train as others limped out of it. At least one collapsed on the platform.
“My subway door opened into calamity. It was smoke and blood and people screaming,” eyewitness Sam Carcamo told radio station 1010 WINS. Smoke poured out of the train car as the door opened, he added.
Five people were in critical condition but expected to survive. At least 17 in all were injured in some way in the attack that began on a subway train that pulled into a station in the Sunset Park neighborhood, about a 15-minute train ride from Manhattan and predominantly home to Hispanic and Asian communities.
The attack followed a strange pattern that has echoed other Democrat efforts to enact radical gun policies by executive order.
Most notably, in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, then-President Barack Obama, newly re-elected, availed himself of the opportunity to pursue a series of extreme anti-gun measures that, nonetheless, found little traction in a GOP-led Congress.
Similar attacks cropped up at times during the Trump administration, including the 2017 Parkland, Fla. school shooting, a 2019 shooting at an El Paso Walmart and a 2021 shooting at an Atlanta massage parlor, which, among other things, helped the Left push bogus narratives about “white supremacy” and “anti-Asian hate crimes” for political purposes.
President Joe Biden on Monday had anounced a widely panned plan by executive fiat to ban so-called ghost guns—those crafted via 3-d printers—as part of what many suspect will be a raft of attacks on lawful gun owners.
The announcement came a week after gang-related violence killed and injured several bar-goers in a late-night shootout in Sacramento, Calif.
Many of the guns used appear to have been illegal under existing state law, and it was later revealed that the state’s policy of early release for felons resulted in one of the suspects gaining his freedom shortly before the massacre.
Although the assailant in the Subway attack remained at large, left-wing politicians pounced so as not to let the crisis go to waste.
“We say: No more. No more mass shootings,” declared Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul.
“No more disrupting lives. No more creating heartbreak for people just trying to live their lives as normal New Yorkers,” she continued. “It has to end.”
Biden also weighed in briefly to announce federal involvement in the case but withheld any rash political decrees as the identity of the perpetrators remained unknown.
Pres. Biden on Brooklyn subway shooting: “Jill and I are praying for those that are injured and all those touched by that trauma. We’re grateful for all the first responders who jumped into action, including civilians.” https://t.co/TYLm3iVtEv pic.twitter.com/kegSsN4E1c
— ABC News (@ABC) April 12, 2022
It wasn’t immediately clear whether officers had already been inside the station when the shootings occurred.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said that the attack was not being investigated as terrorism, but that she was “not ruling out anything.”
Authorities had a photo of a suspect and were working to confirm his identity, two law enforcement officials said. The motive remains unknown.
Officers around the city were told to look out for a U-Haul truck with a certain Arizona license plate number and to stop it and detain all occupants immediately.
Investigators recovered a handgun at the scene, along with multiple smoke devices and other items they are analyzing, the officials said. They said the suspect is believed to have had at least two extended magazines.
Investigators believe the weapon jammed, preventing the suspect from continuing to fire, the officials said. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has completed an urgent trace to identify the gun’s manufacturer, seller and initial owner.
The officials were not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition on anonymity.
The attack unnerved a city on guard about a rise in gun violence and the ever-present threat of terrorism.
It left some New Yorkers jittery about riding the nation’s busiest subway system and prompted officials to increase policing at transportation hubs from Philadelphia to Connecticut.
One rider’s video, shot through a closed door between subway cars, shows a person in a hooded sweatshirt raising an arm and pointing at something—possibly the door to a conductor’s booth—as five bangs sound.
In another video, smoke and people pour out of a subway car, some limping.
Video obtained by NY1 shows people fleeing a subway car into a Sunset Park subway station after Tuesday’s shooting incident. The FDNY says 16 people are hurt, at least 10 of whom were shot. pic.twitter.com/N6XMNZubQS
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) April 12, 2022
“Someone call 911!” a person shouts.
Other video and photos from the scene show people tending to bloodied passengers lying on the platform, some amid what appear to be small puddles of blood, and another person on the floor of a subway car.
UPDATE: At least 29 injured in Brooklyn subway shooting, undetonated devices found https://t.co/JZIO8YLkN3
— New York Post (@nypost) April 12, 2022
Brooklyn subway shooting: Man on train during shooting describes frightening scenehttps://t.co/NdqjY8h3hH
— Darius Radzius (@DariusRadzius) April 12, 2022
Juliana Fonda, a broadcast engineer at WNYC-FM, told its news site Gothamist she was riding the train when passengers from the car behind hers started banging on the door between them.
“There was a lot of loud pops, and there was smoke in the other car,” she said. “And people were trying to get in and they couldn’t, they were pounding on the door to get into our car.”
As police searched for the shooter, Hochul warned New Yorkers to be vigilant.
“This individual is still on the loose. This person is dangerous,” the governor said at news conference. “This is an active shooter situation right now in the city of New York.”
“I’m committing the full resources of our state to fight this surge of crime, this insanity that is seizing our city,” said @GovKathyHochul after multiple people were hurt in a shooting at a Brooklyn subway station.
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) April 12, 2022
Fire and police officials were investigating reports that there had been an explosion, but Sewell said at a press conference just after noon that there were no known explosive devices. Multiple smoke devices were found on the scene, said mayoral spokesperson Fabien Levy.
After people streamed out of the train, quick-thinking transit workers ushered passengers to another train across the platform for safety, system chief Janno Lieber noted.
High school student John Butsikaris was riding the other train when he saw a conductor urging everyone to get in. He thought there might just have been a mundane problem until the next stop, when he heard screams for medical attention and his train was evacuated.
“I’m definitely shook,” the 15-year-old told the Associated Press. “Even though I didn’t see what happened, I’m still scared, because it was like a few feet away from me, what happened.”
No transit workers were physically hurt, according to their union. Besides gunshot wounds, the injured riders were treated for smoke inhalation, shrapnel and panic.
The incident happened on a subway line that runs through south Brooklyn in a neighborhood predominantly home to Hispanic and Asian communities and about a 15-minute train ride to Manhattan. Local schools, including Sunset Park High School across the street from the station, were locked down.
Danny Mastrogiorgio of Brooklyn had just dropped his son off at school when he saw a crush of passengers, some of them wounded, running up the subway stairway at the nearby 25th Street station in panic. At least two had visible leg injuries, he said.
“It was insane,” he told the AP. “No one knew exactly what was going on.”
Allan Lee was running his business, Cafe Nube, when a half-dozen police cars and fire vehicles suddenly converged on the block that contains the 36th Street station.
“Then they started ushering people that were on the block to the adjacent block and then closed off the subway entrance,” he told the AP. When he noticed bomb squad officers and dogs, he was certain it was no everyday subway problem.
New York City has faced a spate of shootings and high-profile incidents in recent months, including on the city’s subways. One of the most shocking was in January, when a woman was pushed to her death in front of a train by a stranger.
New York Mayor Eric Adams, who is isolating following a positive COVID-19 test on Sunday, said in a video statement that the city “will not allow New Yorkers to be terrorized, even by a single individual.”
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.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press