Brooklyn prosecutor says no charges in NYC ‘self-defence’ subway shooting

Neither of the men involved in the shooting have been publicly identified

Kelly Rissman
Friday 15 March 2024 17:51 GMT
Brooklyn subway shooting cellphone video

The alleged shooter from a Brooklyn subway train confrontation — that quickly escalated from verbal exchange to violent altercation — will not be charged at this point given “evidence of self-defense”, according to Brooklyn’s District Attorney.

At 4.45pm on Thursday, a 32-year-old man boarded a packed A train in Brooklyn where he was “aggressively” approached by a 36-year-old man, police said. The older man displayed a sharp object before allegedly reaching for a gun, which the younger man grabbed and shot him with four times.

The New York Police Department said on Thursday that they weren’t sure whether charges would be brought against the 32-year-old, who was arrested at the scene, or whether it would be characterised as self-defence.

On Friday, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office told The Independent in a statement: “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.”

NYPD Chief of Police gives a press conference on 15 March over subway shooting (NYPD)

Neither of the men have been publicly identified.

The 36-year-old was taken to hospital in critical condition after being hit in the neck, chest and right side of the face, ABC7 reported.

A small calibre firearm was recovered from the scene, police said.

New videos that have emerged in the wake of the shooting suggested that a woman was also involved in the incident. The woman, who police believed to be travelling with the 32-year-old man, appeared to cut the alleged aggressor with a sharp object that she pulled from her purse, police said.

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

The woman has not been identified, and it’s unclear whether any charges could be brought against her.

The gun recovered from the scene of the Brookly subway train shooting (New York Police Department)

Police do not believe that the two men knew each other before the confrontation on the subway.

Videos circulating on social media showed terrified passengers huddled together and ducked down on the floor at the opposite side of the subway car.

The footage also captured officers at Hoyt Schermerhorn station running towards the scene as the train pulled into the station. Police said officers could hear the gunshots as the train approached.

Janno Lieber, the chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said at the press conference that it was “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.

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