As many as 23 people were injured on Tuesday, 12 April, after a man opened a two canisters of smoke and opened fire on the platform of a Brooklyn subway station in New York City.
The man who was travelling on a Manhattan-bound train shot at multiple passengers when it stopped at 36th Street station in Sunset Park.
Of the 23, 10 were injured by the gunfire and an additional 13 were either injured as they rushed to get out of the train station or suffered smoke inhalation, said New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, as per news agency ANI.
The fire department was reportedly responding to reports of smoke at the 36th Street Station in the Sunset Park neighbourhood when they found multiple people who were shot at.
The New York Times reported that eight people who were injured in the incident are receiving treatment at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, for a variety of complaints including gunshot wounds and smoke inhalation. However, all eight are reported to be in a stable condition.
CNN reported that preliminary investigation indicated that a smoke device could possibly have been set off in the station.
Later, New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell added that their team has recovered a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, extended magazines and a hatchet from the crime scene.
They also reportedly found a liquid that was believed to be gasoline, and a bag containing consumer-grade fireworks and a hobby fuse.
‘Shooting Not an Act of Terrorism’
Sewell added that “the suspect is a dark-skinned male who was wearing a neon orange vest and a grey collared sweatshirt. We do have a person of interest in this investigation, but we need the public assistance with additional information,” ANI reported.
She added that the suspect’s motive was still not known. “Clearly, this individual boarded the train and was intent on violence. We’re conducting a highly coordinated investigation that includes NYPD detectives, the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force and the ATF,” she said.
According to NDTV, 62-year-old Frank R James, has been named a “person of interest” in the shooting incident. He had rented a van, whose keys were later found at the subway crime scene. However, he has not yet been identified as a suspect.
Meanwhile, New York City Police Department Commissioner Keechant Sewellsaid that the shooting was not being investigated as an act of terrorism at this time. However, she added that she was “not ruling out anything.”
“We are determining what the motive is, and we will find that out as the investigation continues,” she said, according to CNN.
She also added that no life-threatening injuries were sustained during the incident, as per the CNN report.
Speaking about the incident, she said that the accused filled the train with smoke and opened fire on the passengers.
The commissioner added that the suspect began shooting in the train car as it was pulling into the station.
New York Fire Department First Deputy Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh said that there was a variety of injuries, from shrapnel hits to panic resulting from the incident, there were cases of smoke inhalation as well.
President Briefed on Situation, Area Cordoned Off
According to the report, President Joe Biden has been briefed about the incident, and Mayor Eric Adams is monitoring the situation. New York Governor Kathy Hochul also said in a tweet that she has been briefed on the “developing situation” in Brooklyn.
BBC reported that residents have been warned to avoid the area, while at least four train lines have been delayed in both directions. The area around the station has been cordoned off while an investigation is being conducted.
Videos emerging on social media showed subway users leaving the train, while smoke billowed around the station.