NYC subway shooting: Man critically injured after being shot with own gun during rush-hour fight

Victim was ‘aggressor’ after he allegedly pulled a blade and gun on the other man, NYPD said

Amelia Neath,Kelly Rissman
Friday 15 March 2024 18:45 GMT
Man shot in head on Brooklyn subway train

A man is critically injured after being shot with his own gun on a moving subway train in New York City, a horrific rush-hour attack that left fellow passengers cowering in fear.

The shooting victim allegedly “aggressively” provoked a fight with another man as the train travelled between stops in downtown Brooklyn at around 4.45pm on Thursday, the NYPD said.

The victim, 36, allegedly approached another man, 32, when he got on the northbound A train. The 36-year-old was acting “aggressive and provocative,” according to Michael Kemper, NYPD’s chief of transit.

Police said that the 36-year-old pulled out a knife or a razor blade during the verbal altercation but set it down.

Then the 36-year-old man pulled a firearm from his jacket and walked towards the other man “in a menacing way” while yelling at him, police said.

Police said a small-caliber firearm (pictured) was recovered from the scene of a shooting on the New York subway system (New York Police Department)

“During this physical confrontation, that gun, we believe, was removed from the 36-year-old by the 32-year-old, and the 32-year-old fired multiple shots, striking the 36-year-old,” Mr Kemper said, at a press briefing on Thursday.

At a second press conference on Friday, Mr Kemper said that new evidence and extended video footage had captured a woman – believed to be travelling with the 32-year-old man – allegedly cutting the 36-year-old man with a sharp object during the altercation.

Video footage circulating online appeared to show a woman hovering near the two men as they fought.

At one point, the 36-year-old is heard asking “Did you stab me?” before appearing to pull a gun from his jacket and saying: “You stabbed me?”

Terrified passengers reported hearing multiple shots as they crouched on the floor of the subway car. The train pulled into Hoyt Schermerhorn station where officers heard the shots being fired and ran to the scene.

Mr Kemper said that the officers were on scene within seconds, giving medical assistance, calling an ambulance and rounding up witnesses.

Multiple shots fired in a subway train in Brooklyn, New York (Fox 5 New York)

The 36-year-old man was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. He underwent surgery on Thursday night.

The 32-year-old man was arrested at the scene. A small caliber firearm was recovered.

The identities of the two men have not been released but police do not believe that they knew each other. The transit police chief said officers were working to determine if charges would be filed in the case.

A spokesperson for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office told The Independent : “Yesterday’s shooting inside a crowded subway car was shocking and deeply upsetting. The investigation into this tragic incident is ongoing but, at this stage, evidence of self-defense precludes us from filing any criminal charges against the shooter.”

In a Friday update, police said that the 36-year-old boarded the A train at the Nostrand Avenue station without paying his fare, roughly ten minutes prior to the shooting . He didn’t jump over the turnstile, but “walked through the gate”, NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said.

Fellow passengers also shared footage of the terrifying ordeal online.

In one video, a woman is heard screaming “let me out” in the packed subway car, before shots are heard. When the train doors open in the station, passengers sprint off the train, screaming.

A journalist from ABC News was on the train when the shooting took place. She posted video on X/Twitter of passengers huddled together, crouched on the floor as the train remained in the station. Officers were patrolling up and down the platform, as terrified passengers ducked down.

Other footage captured the two men in a scuffle on the train, with one man shouting aggressively at the other before appearing to pull a gun from his jacket.

Police on the scene of the shooting (CBS New York)

Janno Leiber, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, called it “absolutely outrageous” that someone would bring a gun onto the subway and start a fight.

“The victim here, the police said, appears to be the aggressor. But the real victims are the people I saw in those videos who were having a harrowing time because they’re on a train with somebody with a gun,” Mr Lieber said.

The incident comes one week after New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced controversial plans to deploy US National Guard members into the city’s subways to carry out random bag searches of passengers.

Ms Hochul said that she would deploy 750 National Guard members within the transport network to assist the police, saying it would deter crime on the subway system.

Last month, the NYPD said it was on the hunt for New York’s “most wanted” after a 34-year-old male was shot and killed during a brawl on the subway. Five other victims were wounded in the shooting.

In January, another man was fatally shot on the subway in Brooklyn after he tried to break up a fight between two passengers.

The NYPD said last week they had seen a 15.4 per cent crime drop on the subway in February compared to the same month last year. The NYPD has increased the number of police officers in the transport system by 1,000 per day.

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