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NYPD identifies a person of interest in the Brooklyn subway shooting

The New York Police Department said it has identified a person of interest in the subway car shooting that left 10 people shot in Brooklyn Tuesday morning.Chief James Essig told reporters that a cache of weapons was recovered at the scene, including guns, ammunition, a hatchet, gasoline, and a pair of keys to a U-Haul van. Investigators found the vehicle parked in Brooklyn and have since linked it to a man named Frank R. James, who appears to have rented it in Philadelphia.Essig described James as a 62-year-old man “with addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia.””We are endeavoring to locate him to determine his connection to the subway shooting, if any,” he said.Essig offered several new details about the shooting, which occurred just before 8:30 a.m.”As that N train was between stations at 59th Street and 36th Street, seated in the second car, in the rear corner was a dark skin male,” Essig said during an evening press conference. “As the train pulled into the station, witness say the man opened up two smoke grenades, brandishes a Glock 9mm handgun he then fired that weapon at least 33 times.”While investigators have received a variety of descriptions of the shooter’s height, officials said witness accounts confirm he was wearing an orange and green construction-style nylon vest. He also had on a grey hoodie, a surgical mask and a neon green construction helmet.Earlier in the day, officials said the gunman had put on a gas mask before setting off the smoke cannisters then opened fire striking multiple people on the subway and on the platform.Officials say they are still searching for a motive in the attack.They are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to James.Gov. Kathy Hochul said New Yorkers’ “sense of tranquility and normalness was disrupted — brutally disrupted — by an individual so cold-hearted and depraved of heart that they had no caring about the individuals that they assaulted.”WNYC broadcast engineer Juliana Fonda said she was on the N train when she heard the shots.”People were pounding and looking behind them, running, trying to get onto the train,” Fonda said. “The door locked between cars and the people behind us, there were a lot of loud pops and there was smoke in the other car.”

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A handful of nearby schools went into lockdown following the gunfire, including PS 24.

Alexandra Miranda, a 7-year-old student at the elementary school, recalled the scene in her classroom, telling NPR, “They had to shut all of the doors and teachers couldn’t go in or out because something was happening outside.”

The incident on Tuesday adds to a jump in violent crime in the subway during the pandemic, while subway ridership remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

Earlier, published reports cited fire officials and law enforcement sources saying several undetonated devices were also found. Sewell told reporters that there are currently no known explosive devices on subway trains.

New Yorkers have been warned to avoid the Sunset Park area. Following the shooting, power was shut off on various lines, and major delays were expected throughout the city.

This is a developing story. Some facts reported by the media may later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene, and we will update as the situation develops.

A “person of interest” was identified by the New York police on Tuesday evening after a mass shooting at the 36th Street subway station in Brooklyn. At least 23 people were injured, officials said, in a violent episode that stoked fears about public safety as New York City struggles to recover from the pandemic.

the D, N and R lines pass through the Sunset Park neighborhood, around 8:30 a.m., the Police Department said. Another 13 people sustained injuries related to smoke inhalation, falls or panic attacks. On Tuesday evening, Frank R. James, 62, whom the police were looking for in connection with the shooting, was still at large, according to James Essig, the Police Department’s chief of detectives.

A man set off smoke grenades in a crowded subway car and then opened fire, shooting 10 people, during the morning rush at the station

Times photographers were documenting the scene in the aftermath of the shooting.

Andrew Hinderaker, a photo editor for The New York Times, was aboard an R train at the 36th Street station shortly before 8:30 a.m. As he moved to switch to an express N train across the platform, an announcement told riders to board the R train, so he returned to that train, which left the station headed for the 25th Street stop.When the train pulled in at 25th Street, it stayed put. A panic arose among riders, and they began running for the exit, Mr. Hinderaker said. He heard someone calling for a doctor and followed that person to the front of the train. In one of the cars toward the front, he saw three people who had been injured and were being attended to by bystanders. A uniformed officer approached, said his radio was not working and asked passengers to call 911.Officers swarmed the area in search of security-camera footage that might show the gunman. Mayor Eric Adams said the search was being hampered by at least one malfunctioning security camera in the station.

NEW YORK – Police are searching for a “person of interest” in the chaotic attack on a Brooklyn subway during rush hour Tuesday morning, a man they say posted violent ramblings online.

But authorities stopped short of saying the man they identified, Frank James, 62, was considered a suspect. Police said he was not in custody as of Tuesday night and no charges were filed.

No one died but the attack left at least 29 injured, New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at an evening news conference. James has ties to both Wisconsin and Philadelphia, authorities said. 

The attacker, wearing a gas mask, set off two smoke grenades before shooting. He fled the Brooklyn platform in the panic, leaving a subway car filled with screaming commuters and bleeding victims. At least 10 people were shot and at least 19 others were taken to hospitals for injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to shrapnel wounds

Authorities say the gunman fired 33 times with a Glock 17 9mm semi-handgun, which was found in the subway. Searching the subway car, investigators also found two non-detonated smoke grenades, a hatchet, gasoline, fireworks and a key to a U-Haul van. 

The key led police to James, who they said is believed to have rented it in Philadelphia. Authorities found the van in Brooklyn near a subway station where investigators determined the gunman entered the train system, Chief of Detectives James Essig said

Sewell noted investigators were poring over social media posts appearing to come from James where he mentioned homelessness and New York City Mayor Eric Adams. She said the mayor’s security detail would be tightened out of an “abundance of caution.” 

“We are truly fortunate that this was not significantly worse than it is,” Sewell said. 

Authorities were reviewing several social media pages, including YouTube videos appearing to feature James discussing a variety of issues from Black rights and slavery to the recent mass shooting in Sacramento and the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to comment publicly. 

The accounts feature dozens of videos that include ramblings of violent threats and black superiority, along with beliefs that Black violence was the outcome of systemic racism that prevented minorities from being successful. 

Another video being reviewed by police, posted in February show a 16-minute black-and-white clip of the 1967 movie “The Incident.” Based on a play called “Ride With Terror,” the clip shows two street hoods who lock 14 passengers inside a New York City subway car and terrorize them; the footage posted in the YouTube video shows a Black couple being racially harassed by one of the bigoted white aggressors on the train.

In one of the videos, posted the day before the subway attack, a man details that he’d been through a lot and wanted to harm people. But he said he did not want to be jailed. 

I can say I wanted to kill people. I wanted to watch people die,” the man says in the footage. 

A Feb. 20 video says the mayor and governor’s plan to improve safety in New York City’s subway system “is doomed for failure” and refers to himself as a “victim” of the mayor’s mental health program. A Jan. 25 video — called “Dear Mr. Mayor” — is somewhat critical of Adams’ plan to end gun violence, which has become an early focus of the Democrat’s first term in office. 

Throughout the day, police helicopters hovered above the Manhattan-bound N train in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood as authorities investigated the scene.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced last fall that it had put security cameras in all 472 subway stations citywide, saying they would put criminals on an “express track to justice.” But police said cameras were not working in at least three subway stations and were investigating the issues. 

Investigators believe the gunman’s weapon jammed, preventing the gunman from continuing to fire, the officials said. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives completed an urgent trace to identify the gun’s manufacturer, seller and initial owner.

The attack unnerved a city on guard about a rise in gun violence and the 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 San Francisco.

The shooting occurred before 8:30 a.m. on a Manhattan-bound N train in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a news conference.

The train was waiting to enter the 36th Street station when the man put on the gas mask and set off two smoke grenades. The train filled with smoke as the man fired, Sewell said. The shooter, whom Sewell described as a Black male with a heavy build, wore  a green construction vest and a gray sweatshirt, she said.

New York City Fire Department First Deputy Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said 10 people were shot.Sewell said none of the injuries was life-threatening

Firefighters responded to a call about smoke at the subway station at 36th Street and 4th Avenue. Crews found the shooting victims and several “undetonated devices,” according to a New York City Fire Department statement.

Sewell said Tuesday afternoon there were no known explosive devices on the train. The incident was not being investigated as an act of terrorism “at this time,” but she asked for the public’s assistance with any photos, videos or information about the incident and shooter.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said New Yorkers’ “sense of tranquility and normalness was disrupted brutally by an individual so cold-hearted and depraved of heart that they had no caring about the individuals that they assaulted

President Joe Biden offered his prayers for the victims of the subway shooting and praised those who quickly sprang into action.

“We’re grateful for all the first responders who jumped into action, including civilians who didn’t hesitate to help their fellow passengers and try to shield them,” he said during a trip to an Iowa processing plant that produces ethanol. 

In addition to the gunshot victims, other people suffered from smoke inhalation, shrapnel wounds and injuries related to the panic after the shooting, Kavanagh said.

Twenty-one people were taken to NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn after the attack. Ten were released by Tuesday afternoon. The 11 remaining patients were treated for injuries including gunshot wounds and smoke inhalation. They were all in stable condition, spokeswoman Lacy Scarmana said. New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital said three patients injured in the attack were treated. One was shot, another had a fractured bone, and the third was not trauma-related. All three were in stable condition. 

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