New York City experienced an active shooter situation early Tuesday morning, when an unidentified male individual began to open fire on the N line subway in Sunset Park.
According to police officials, the individual appeared to be wearing a gas mask when he boarded the train around 8:20 a.m. at the 36th Street Subway station. He then opened a canister of smoke that filled the subway car and began shooting, stricking multiple people inside the car and on the platform. Police describe the shooter as a tall black male, about 5-foot-5, with a heavy build wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a green construction vest.
During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, a representative with FDNY indicated that 16 people were injured in the attack – 10 of which were being treated from gunshot wounds. Other patients were injured from smoke inhalation or shrapnel, according to investigators. Five people injured in the fracas were identified as being in critical but stable condition at the time of the press conference. According to officials, none of the individuals injured face life threatening injuries.
“There are currently no known explosive devices on our subway trains and this is not being investigated as an act of terrorism at this time,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
Police indicated that no motive has been established for the shooting as of press time. The investigation remains in its preliminary stages and any information may be subject to change.
Photos from the scene, released on social media, showed blood around injured individuals who were receiving medical help on the scene as others tried to escape through the clouded platform.
“Today, we saw New Yorkers in a difficult situation and emergency helping each other,” MTA Chief Janno Lieber said at the press conference, comparing the moment to 9/11. “That’s who New Yorkers are… everyday they’re showing people in the subway, which is our public space, that New Yorkers of all varieties can come together in small spaces and get alone and create something bigger. That’s what we remember in these emergencies, as well as the tragedy.”
“Our community is shaken by this senseless act of violence,” NYC City Councilwoman Alexa Avilés, who represents Sunset Park, said in a tweet. “The investigation is still active at this time. My thoughts and prayers are with all 16 of those injured. At this time we know that 10 are being treated for gunshot wounds and 5 are in critical, but stable condition.”
NYPD is asking for the public’s help with information. If you have any information you can confidentiality call Crimestoppers at 800-577-TIPS.