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NYC Subway Attack Suspect Described As 5-Foot-5 Black Male In Gas Mask, Still At Large

Brooklyn, NY – Authorities do not believe the incident on the Brooklyn subway platform Tuesday morning was a terrorist attack and said a manhunt is underway for the gunman who shot at least 10 people and caused more to be injured.

The incident occurred at about 8:24 a.m. on April 12 as an N train waited to approach the platform at the 36th Street subway station, according to NBC News.

New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant Sewell told reporters at a press conference that a man on the train “donned what appeared to be a gas mask. He then took a canister out of his bag and opened it.”

“The train at that time began to fill with smoke,” Commissioner Sewell explained. “He then opened fire, striking multiple people on the subway and in the platform.”

She clarified that the shooting began in the train car, NBC News reported.

The shooter used a handgun, according to WABC.

The police commissioner said witnesses described the gunman as a black man, about 5-feet, 5-inches tall, with a heavy build, wearing a green construction vest over a gray hoodie.

The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) said that at least 10 people had been shot and at least another six had been injured in the chaos that ensued on the subway platform, NBC News reported.

Commissioner Sewell told reporters that none of the gunshot wounds appeared to be life-threatening.

FDNY initially said that additional undetonated devices had been found at the scene but police officials were quick to correct that and said that what was seen “may just be debris,” NBC News reported.

Police recovered shell casings from the platform.

Officials have confirmed there were no working surveillance cameras in the 36th Street station, WABC reported.

It was unclear whether the shooter fled out of the station or via a subway tunnel.

Commuter Kenneth Foote-Smith described the scene as “bedlam” and said it felt “like a horror movie.”

Foote-Smith said he could hear the gunfire in the neighboring car as they watched it fill with smoke, NBC News reported.

He said people tried to flee the subway car that was under attack but couldn’t escape into the car he was in because the door between the cars was jammed.

“We can’t even see the faces of the people in the train car anymore,” Foote-Smith said.

“We luckily pull up to the station very shortly after that,” he recalled. “And we all run out once the doors open, and it’s absolute bedlam. There’s people fleeing up the stairs. Luckily an R train pulled up, there’s people running into the R train.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former transit police captain, released a video statement that promised to find the gunman.

NYU Langone-Brooklyn is treating eight patients, all of whom are in stable condition, WABC reported.

Maimonides Medical Center received five patients in connection with the subway attack and New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital is treating three victims.

Schools located closest to the 36th Street subway station remained in a shelter-in-place status into the afternoon, WABC reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said it was assisting NYPD with its investigation but said that it did not appear that the incident was terrorism-related.

The White House has said President Joe Biden was following the news of the attack closely.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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