A gunman opened fire on a subway train Tuesday morning in Brooklyn, New York, killing ten people and injuring more than a dozen others. Thirteen people were being treated for other injuries from inhaling smoke from the smoke bomb or from panicking, officials said.
“We’re really lucky it wasn’t worse than that,” New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell told a news conference Tuesday evening. She said three women and seven men were shot, but none of the injuries were considered life-threatening.
Police said they had identified a person of interest, but did not name him as a suspect. He said no one is in custody.
Sewell saidWas described as a black male, about 5 feet, 5 inches tall with a heavy build, who was wearing a green construction-type vest and a gray hooded sweatshirt.
Officers located a U-Haul in Brooklyn on Tuesday afternoon after a key to the vehicle was found at the shooting location. Authorities identified the U-Haul tenant as 62-year-old Frank R. James and called him an interested person in the case. The Associated Press reported that the van was empty when it was found.
Sewell, giving more details about the shooting, said that the gunman put on a subway train in Brooklyn to Manhattan just before 8:24 a.m. as a gas mask and threw two canisters that filled the train with smoke. . Sewell said the gunman then opened fire, attacking people on the subway and 36th Street station platforms. A total of thirty-three shots were fired.
Police said a 9mm semi-automatic handgun was recovered. Sewell said a hatchet, fireworks and a liquid believed to be gasoline were also found.
“We don’t know the motive at the moment, but we are not ruling out anything,” she said.
Sewell said people with photos and videos of the shooting or any related information were encouraged to contact the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Program.
A law enforcement source tells CBS News a Glock semi-automatic handgun that apparently jammed, and a tote-like bag containing a hatchet, pepper spray, two gas canisters and a smoke grenade were found. The Sunset Park neighborhood has a heavy police force.
Photos taken from the scene showed people taking care of bloodied passengers on the station floor.
The MTA said that regular service has resumed on Tuesday evening on the D, N and R Metro lines after hours of disruption. However, trains are still not stopping at 36th Street station while the investigation into the shooting continues.
President Biden acknowledged the shooting during a speech in Iowa on Tuesday afternoon.
“Jill and I, my wife Jill and I, are praying for those who are injured and for all those who have been affected by this trauma,” he said. “And we are grateful to all the first responders who jumped into action, civilians included, who didn’t hesitate to try to help and save their fellow passengers. My team is in contact with the mayor. [Eric] Adams, and the New York Police Commissioner, and the Justice Department and the FBI working closely with the NYPD on the ground.”
—Pat Milton contributed reporting. The Associated Press contributed reporting.