Millions of New Yorkers returned to commutes on Wednesday in a city gripped with unease as a gunman remained at large after shooting 10 people on a subway train during morning rush the day before, reports the New York Times.
Mayor Eric Adams identified a man initially called a “person of interest,” Frank James, 62, as the lone suspect in the worst outbreak of subway violence in recent history.
“There is no evidence that indicates at this time that there was an accomplice,” Adams told MSNBC. Police found a key to a U-Haul van among the gunman’s belongings at the shooting scene and found the van parked near the station where the gunman had boarded the train. James had rented the van in Philadelphia.
James, who has addresses in Milwaukee and Philadelphia, has posted a series of disturbing, bigoted videos online, including one where he mocked Adams’s efforts to reduce subway crime.
The platform at the 36th Street subway station in the Sunset Park neighborhood in Brooklyn was crowded, somber and heavily policed.
Tyreek Page, 21, a heating and cooling mechanic who had ridden a train Tuesday before the mayhem erupted, was surprised to find so many people on the platform. “It’s weird because I wasn’t expecting to see anybody,” he said.
As a rush-hour train approached the station the day before , the gunman had donned a gas mask, tossed two smoke grenades on the floor, fired 33 shots and fled.
In addition to the 10 people hit by gunfire, at least 13 others sustained injuries related to smoke inhalation, falls or panic attacks.
At least one camera at the station failed to capture anything during the attack, an oversight that Mr. Adams blamed on a “malfunction.”
The shooting complicates efforts by Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul to convince people that the subways are safe, after months in which high-profile attacks on the system have hindered efforts to recover ridership that fell at the start of the pandemic and that remains more than 40 percent below prepandemic levels.