NYPD releases footage of suspected gunman in Brooklyn mass shooting
13 others were injured as they tried to get out of the station or suffered smoke inhalation.
New York Police released two photos of the suspect in the shooting at a subway station in Brooklyn.
The police said, in a tweet at dawn on Wednesday, that the suspect was named Frank James, and attached two pictures of him, calling for them to be informed of any available information about him.
This is Frank James who is a person of interest in this investigation. Any information can be directed to @NYPDTips at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/yBpenmsX67— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 12, 2022
In an update, the police announced that the mass shooting resulted in the injury of 23 people, including 10 who were directly hit by bullets.
Earlier, it was reported that a massive manhunt is underway since Tuesday in New York for a man who shot 10 people on a packed subway train, wearing a gas mask before setting off two smoke bombs and opening fire on terrified commuters.
Police said the incident in Brooklyn was not being investigated as an act of terrorism, with no indication of a motive at this stage. No injury was considered life-threatening.
New York Police Department commissioner Keechant Sewell told a press conference the suspected gunman put on a gas mask just as the train was arriving at the station.
The gunman "opened two canisters that dispensed smoke throughout the subway car," Sewell said. "He then shot multiple passengers as the train pulled into the 36th Street station."
In addition to the 10 gunshot victims, 13 others were injured as they tried to get out of the station or suffered smoke inhalation, according to officials.
Several people were shot, injured in a shooting in #NewYork subway station in #Brooklyn. #NYPD has issued an advisory to avoid the area of 36th Street and 4th Avenue area in the city. pic.twitter.com/bKUIIYqPRQ— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) April 12, 2022
"We are truly fortunate this was not significantly worse than it is," Sewell said.
According to NYPD chief James Essig, the gunman fired 33 shots. Police later recovered a Glock 17 nine-millimeter handgun, three additional ammunition magazines, and a hatchet from the scene.
Sewell said they had identified a "person of interest" and described him as a "dark-skinned male" wearing a neon orange vest and a gray hooded sweatshirt.
No one is taken into custody yet, she said.
Both Sewell and Essig said the person of interest had posted several videos on YouTube of himself delivering long, sometimes aggressive political rants. He also criticized New York City mayor Eric Adams.
Police were alerted to the shooting just before 8:30 am (1230 GMT).
Verified video footage posted on social media showed the train pulling into the 36th Street station and smoke billowing out the doors as passengers rushed off, some apparently injured.
One of them, Yav Montano, recounted on CNN being inside the car when it began filling with smoke -- and shots rang out.
"In the moment, I did not think that it was a shooting because it sounded like fireworks," he said. "It just sounded like a bunch of scattered popping."
There were 40 to 50 passengers inside at the time and they began crowding towards the front, Montano said -- but the door to the next car was locked.
"There were people in that other car that saw what was happening. And they tried to open the door, but they couldn't," he said.
Call for witnesses
President Joe Biden, addressing the incident during a trip to Iowa, paid tribute to the first responders and civilians who "didn't hesitate to help their fellow passengers," and said his team was in close contact with New York officials.
"We're not letting up until we find the perpetrator," Biden vowed.
The NYPD has urged witnesses to contact a tip line with any information, and New York governor Kathy Hochul promised regular updates as the investigation unfolds.
The incident came just a day after US President Joe Biden announced new gun control measures, increasing restrictions on so-called "ghost guns", the difficult-to-trace weapons that can be assembled at home.
Over the past five-year period, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) could only trace 0.98% of suspected "ghost guns" handed in by law enforcement to an individual purchaser, the department added.
According to the organization Gun Violence Archive, more than 11,700 people have died by firearms since the beginning of the year in the United States, including suicides.
Over the whole of 2021, the number rose to 45,000 dead, said the archive, a figure which has prompted the White House to speak of an "epidemic".