Eric Adams says Brooklyn subway shooter’s goal was to ‘create terror’, after NYPD chief claimed attack was not an act of terrorism

Authorities are still hunting for a masked gunman who threw has canisters in the air before opening fire

Bevan Hurley
in New York
Wednesday 13 April 2022 01:10
New York police confirms Brooklyn shooter was wearing ‘green construction-type vest’

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has pushed back on NYPD commissioner Keechant Sewell’s claims that the Brooklyn subway attack was not an act of terrorism.

At least 10 people were shot and 18 more injured after a gunman threw gas canisters into a crowded subway car and opened fire around 8.30am Tuesday morning that caused chaos across city transport networks.

More than eight hours after the attack, police were still hunting for the gunman who was believed to be driving a rented U-Haul van with Arizona plates.

Ms Sewell told a news conference just after midday that while the motive remained unclear and she was “not ruling anything out”, it was not being treated as a terrorist incident.

In an interview hours later, Mr Adams said the incident had undoubtably brought “terror” to the city.

“Someone intentionally determined to create terror in our subway system and attack our passengers,” Mr Adams told WCBS.

“Once we apprehend the person we will be able to identify what was the purpose behind it.

“One thing was clear, the goal was to create terror in our subway system and that is not acceptable.”

Police have issued a description of the attacker as a black male, wearing a gas mask, a green, “construction style” vest over a grey hoodie and carrying a book bag. He has a “heavy build” at 1.65m (5ft5in) and 81 kgs (180 pounds).

Late on Tuesday 12 April, police named Frank R James as a person of interest in the case, though authorities were careful not to suggest that Mr James carried out the shooting.

Police said 33 shots were fired in the shooting, and announced a $50,000 reward for information about the crime.

They are treating the incident as an “active shooter situation”, and have asked New Yorkers to avoid the area of 3rd Avenue to 5th Avenue from 20th to 40th Street.

Authorities were called to reports of gunfire and multiple explosions on the Manhattan-bound N/R line at around 8.30am.

It appears as though the attack began at 25th St station, when the masked man threw an explosive device believed to be a smoke canister into the air and began shooting, hitting at least 10 commuters.

Mayor Eric Adams responds to the Brooklyn subway shooting in a video on 12 April

As the train arrived at 36th St station in Sunset Park, terrified commuters, some limping from what appear to be gunshot wounds, burst off the train as smoke billowed from the carriage.

Five of the shooting victims were in a critical but stable condition in hospital. At least 16 people were taken to hospital for injuries including smoke inhalation, but none were suffering life threatening injuries.

A gun, magazines, gas canisters and fireworks were recovered from the scene, with the investigation suggesting the gun may have jammed.

Police also said they are searching for a U-Haul van with Arizona plates numbered AL31408.

As the manhunt continues, authorities have come under scrutiny for the suspect’s escape as Mayor Adams confirmed that surveillance cameras in the 36th Street station malfunctioned and thus did not capture the attack.

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