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A manhunt is underway in New York City for a suspect accused of donning a gas mask, detonating a smoke canister and opening fire in a Brooklyn subway and train station during Tuesday’s morning commute, killing at least 28 people were injured, five of whom are in critical condition.
The attack began around 8:24 a.m. when a Manhattan-bound N train was approaching the 36th St. station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The suspect, described as about 5 feet 5 tall, black man with a strong build, is still at large and “dangerous,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul told reporters nearly four hours after the shooting.
The suspect’s shots hit several people in the subway car and on the platform, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. He wore a green construction-type vest and gray hooded sweatshirt. The suspect has not been identified by authorities, Sewell said.
Sewell said there are currently no known explosive devices on New York City subways and the incident is not currently being investigated as a terrorist incident. She said no one was critically injured.
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But Mayor Eric Adams later told CNN it was “premature” to rule out terrorism. “This is terror,” Adams said. “Someone tried to terrorize our system.”
Acting FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said 16 people were injured in the incident, 10 of whom have gunshot wounds and five of whom are in critical condition at local hospitals.
After the press conference, Fox News learned that NYU Langone is treating a total of 20 patients related to the Brooklyn subway incident, out of the original eight first reported at that hospital.
All 20 were in stable condition and the type of injuries varied from gunshot wounds to smoke inhalation, the hospital said, without specifying how many had been shot.
New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital said it is currently treating a total of three patients from the subway attack; one from a gunshot wound, another from a fracture, and the third is unrelated to trauma. All three patients are in stable condition. There are five victims at Maimonides Health in Brooklyn; three were treated for smoke inhalation and two for shrapnel or gunshot wounds.
“This person is still at large,” Hochul said. “We ask individuals to be very vigilant and vigilant. This is currently an active shooter situation in the city of New York.”
“We say no more, no more mass shootings. No more destruction of life,” the governor continued. “No more heartbreak for people just trying to live their lives as regular New Yorkers. It has to end. it ends now And we’re sick of reading headlines about crime.”
Subway services were not shut down citywide after the incident, although the suspect remains at large.
MTA CEO Janno Lieber said the system was disrupted but kept running. B and W services are suspended, and the D and N lines also have suspensions, with shuttle buses operating.
“I just want to say one thing personally, and that on September 11, I stood on Fourth Avenue and watched New Yorkers come back from this tragedy,” Lieber said. “And I saw New Yorkers helping each other and shopkeepers going out and giving people water. That was the same as what we saw on the platform today. We saw New Yorkers in a difficult situation, an emergency, helping each other.”
Sewell said “there are currently no known explosive devices” in the subway system after the FDNY reportedly found several “undetonated explosive devices” in the subway station.
A senior law enforcement source later confirmed reports to Fox News that a handgun with an extended magazine was found at the scene. The source further identified the pistol as a Glock and said it was spotted on the train where shots were fired.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who did not attend the Brooklyn press conference in person as he recovered from the coronavirus, subsequently appeared virtually on CNN and reiterated that investigators currently have no positive identification of the suspect. He also responded to how Sewell noted that the incident is not considered terrorist at this time.
“It’s a preliminary investigation. This is terror from someone trying to terrorize our system,” Adams told CNN host Dana Bash. “They brought what looks like some kind of smoking device. They fired a gun. And so I don’t want to be hasty in justifying that it was/wasn’t the case. I think by that time investigators will be doing their due diligence to identify exactly what happened here. So I think it’s premature at this point to say exactly what happened here is still new.”
NYPD counter-terrorism units responded to the scene, while additional units, including police K9s and heavy weapons, were stationed at subway stations in New York City, a senior law enforcement source told Fox News Digital.
The Department of Education confirmed that nearby schools were sheltering. On-site protections were later lifted for schools, except for those in close proximity to the shooting.
New York schools chancellor David C. Banks said students “remain in a safe, caring and supportive environment.”
A graphic photo circulated on Twitter Tuesday morning showing several people lying on the station’s blood-soaked floor. A man was applying pressure to what appeared to be another man’s leg wound. A red piece of clothing was tied around the wound to stop the bleeding. A pool of blood was seen next to a second man who grabbed his cellphone, while backpacks and purses were strewn across the platform.
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Another unconfirmed video shared on social media appeared to have been taken by someone boarding the train at the station. As soon as the doors opened, crowds poured out and smoke billowed through the station.
The NYPD Transit Bureau dismissed reports that subways were stuck between stations.
“Although there are several subway service changes, reports of trains currently being stopped in tunnels are not accurate,” the bureau tweeted at 10:23 a.m. ET. “All subways have been moved to train stations. Officers are currently inspecting all stations and trains as we continue to investigate the 36th Street incident in BK.”
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NYPD News initially warned the public to avoid the 36th St. and 4th Avenue area of Brooklyn due to an investigation, saying emergency vehicles and delays could be expected.
Hochul tweeted that she was briefed on the evolving situation in Brooklyn and will work with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and NYPD to provide updates as they become available. President Biden has also been briefed on the situation in Brooklyn, and senior White House officials are in touch with Mayor Eric Adams and Sewell to offer assistance if needed, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
“I am closely monitoring the situation this morning at the 36th Street station in Sunset Park in our beloved Brooklyn,” tweeted Sen. Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. “I pray for all victims, their families and all those affected. I am grateful for the quick action of our first responders. To everyone in New York: stay safe.”
Fox News’ Jeremy Copas, Bradford Betz and Marta Dhanis contributed to this report.