A gunman filled a rush-hour subway train with smoke and shot multiple people Tuesday, leaving wounded commuters bleeding on a Brooklyn platform as others ran screaming, authorities said. Police were still searching for the shooter.
Officials said the gunfire wounded at least 10 people, and at least 16 in all were injured in some way in the attack that began on a subway train that pulled into the 36th Street station in the borough’s Sunset Park neighborhood. Five people were in critical condition, New York Fire Department Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said, but Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said there were no life-threatening injuries.
Sewell added that the attack was not being investigated as terrorism, but that she was “not ruling out anything.” The shooter has not been identified.
A train rider’s video shows smoke and people pouring out of a subway car. Wails erupt as passengers run for an exit as a few others limp off the train. One falls to the platform, and a person hollers, “Someone call 911!” In other video and photos from the scene, people tend to bloodied passengers lying on the platform, some amid what appear to be small puddles of blood, and another person is on the floor of a subway car.
“My subway door opened into calamity. It was smoke and blood and people screaming,” eyewitness Sam Carcamo told radio station 1010 WINS, saying he saw a gigantic billow of smoke pouring out of the N train once the door opened.
According to multiple law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation, preliminary information indicated that the gunman who fled was wearing a construction vest and a gas mask.
Investigators believe the gunman deployed a smoke device before opening fire, one of the law enforcement officials said. Investigators are examining whether he may have used that device in an effort to distract people before shooting, the official said.
Fire and police officials were investigating reports that there had been an explosion, but Sewell said at a press conference just after noon that there were no known explosive devices. Multiple smoke devices were found on the scene, said mayoral spokesperson Fabien Levy.
No MTA workers were physically hurt, according to a statement from the Transport Workers Union Local 100. Besides gunshot wounds, the injured were treated for smoke inhalation, shrapnel and panic.