- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The New York Police Department pleaded for witnesses and videos as they hunted for the man who opened fire at a Brooklyn subway station Tuesday, injuring at least 29 people.

Ten of the victims were shot, while others were treated for shrapnel injuries, smoke inhalation and panic, said FDNY First Deputy Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. None of the injuries is considered life-threatening.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said they are trying to figure out a motive for the shooter, who is still on the loose.

“This is not being investigated as an act of terrorism at this time,” she said, though added she hasn’t ruled anything out.

She said a person described as a Black man donned a gas mask on a Manhattan-bound train on the N Line as it approached the 36th Street subway station. Wearing a green construction type-vest, he took a canister out of his bag and opened it. He opened fire as the car filled with smoke, striking persons in the car and on the platform.

Konrad Aderer, a witness, told CNN he had just entered the station when he saw a young man bleeding from the leg and telling the station agent what happened.

Mr. Aderer said he “immediately got out of there.”

Another witness told CNN his COVID-19 mask was rendered useless by smoke that filled his subway car on the way to work.

The man, Yav Montano, took a short cellphone video that showed people in the car covering their faces with sweatshirts and trying to remain calm.

Law enforcement officials told CNN that a gun and multiple high-capacity magazines were recovered from the scene. However, The New York Times reported that none of the security cameras inside the subway station that might have captured the scene were in operation.

Police are looking for a U-Haul truck with Arizona license plates in connection with the shooting, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. Officers in and around the city are supposed to stop the truck if they see it in traffic and detain all the occupants immediately.

Police told residents there were no active explosive devices in the area but pleaded with residents to come forward with any videos or photographs from the scene, even if they think they are insignificant.

SEE ALSO: Biden briefed on NYC subway shooting, offers assistance

“This individual is still on the loose, this person is dangerous,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat.

New York City residents were already on edge over crime.

While murders are down slightly compared to this time in 2021, other major crime categories have spiked and there has been a 14% increase in shootings, at 296 compared with 260 at this time last year, according to NYPD CompStat statistics.

There have been 357 transit crimes since the start of the year, a 73% jump compared with the same time last year, according to CNN.

“We know there is a real challenge,” Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat who ran as a former police captain who would fight crime, told the network. He spoke by video as he self-isolates because of a positive coronavirus test on Sunday.

He blamed a “revolving door” justice system that leaves known criminals on the streets, and the inability to trace some guns that are used in crimes, one day after President Biden announced a crackdown on “ghost guns,” which lack serial numbers.

Mr. Adams insisted the city subway system is safe and said quick actions by fellow passengers likely saved the lives of some people on the Brooklyn platform Tuesday.

“Together, we’re going to navigate this crisis that hit our subway system and we’re going to find the person responsible,” Mr. Adams said.

Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told CNN that fear of the subway, specifically, is going to rise “exponentially” even though it is a critical way of getting around in the city.

Ms. Hochul, who faces reelection this year, described the incident as an inflection point in the fight against gun violence.
“We say no more, no more mass shootings, no more disrupting lives,” she said. “It has to end and ends now. We are sick and tired of reading headlines about crime.”

Ms. Hochul said she is coordinating closely with Mr. Adams.

“While we gather more information, we ask New Yorkers to stay away from this area for their safety and so that first responders can help those in need and investigate,” Adams press secretary Fabien Levy tweeted.

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were briefed and a Justice Department spokesperson told The Washington Times that Attorney General Merrick Garland is monitoring the situation.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican who is running for governor this year, called the news out of Brooklyn “deeply disturbing.”

“While we await more facts as soon as possible, our hearts are fully with the brave first responders and victims at the scene. Praying for all involved,” Mr. Zeldin tweeted.

• Jeff Mordock contributed to this report.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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