Note: Some images may be disturbing.
Is this a terror attack on New York City’s transportation system, or some other form of crime? Several casualties have already been reported in what is being described as a mass shooting, an explosion, or perhaps both at a major hub in the subway system. “It’s the pulse of the city,” reporter Robert Moses tells the local Fox News affiliate, noting that subway crime has been on a steady rise recently:
There have been conflicting reports on explosions, unexploded devices, and shootings. Bear in mind that the first details reported are often in error or confused, so keep an open mind. However, the casualties are already confirmed, if not in detail:
Multiple people shot at 36 street station by two people in #sunsetpark. All are currently being transported to the hospital #NewYork #Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/3Va2iXf0JQ
— Derek French Photo (@derekcfrench) April 12, 2022
The FDNY reports that their personnel found “undetonated devices,” according to the Associated Press:
Fire personnel responding to reports of smoke at the 36th Street station in the Sunset Park neighborhood found multiple people shot and undetonated devices, a New York City Fire Department spokesperson said.
According to a law enforcement source briefed on the investigation, preliminary information indicated a suspect was dressed in construction attire.
Smoke would tend to indicate that something had already exploded in the area. The FDNY said that they got reports of both gunfire and an explosion before responding. The New York Times also reports on the smoke and the suspect’s description, but doesn’t include any report on explosions or explosive devices:
Several people were shot on the platform of a Brooklyn subway station during the Tuesday morning rush, officials said, a violent episode that heightened simmering fears about public safety that have hindered New York City’s push to recover from the pandemic.
Preliminary reports indicated that five people were shot, a law enforcement official said. The police were seeking a man with a gas mask and an orange construction vest, the official said.
Police officers were called to the 36th Street subway station, where the D, N and R lines pass through the Sunset Park neighborhood, at around 8:30 a.m., a Police Department spokeswoman said. They had also received reports of smoke inside the station.
ABC picks up on the same data but suggests that the devices may have been smoke bombs intended to obscure the attacker:
BREAKING: Multiple people shot in separate incidents in New York City subway system, police sources say.
What's known so far: https://t.co/TEAz1CDB6f pic.twitter.com/XO2Zd7im2g
— ABC News (@ABC) April 12, 2022
NBC now reports that witnesses claim the suspect threw at least one device during the attack:
Multiple people were shot in the New York City subway station during rush hour on Tuesday, and “several undetonated devices” were found, officials said.
A man, possibly wearing clothes that resembled MTA clothing, was spotted throwing a device in the Brooklyn subway staton before opening fire, law enforcement sources told NBC New York.
Some of the wounded passengers made their escape by jumping on a train, the sources said.
If this is accurate — a very big if at the moment — then it goes well beyond the usual subway crime, and even the crazy-homeless incidents that have resulted in some deaths. The presence of a gas mask and other “devices,” regardless of their use, would strongly suggest a planned attack, one that would require at least some minimal preparations and logistics to launch. Those elements don’t speak to motive or perpetrator in and of themselves, but it would at least demonstrate premeditation and purpose. New York City’s subways have long been presumed to be the target of such attacks, especially since 9/11, but the city has done a good job of securing them thus far.
We’ll keep a further eye on this story as developments emerge. In the meantime, anyone with good information on the attacker should contact the FBI and/or the New York Police Department.
Update: Several sources put the injured at 13 now. So far, no word on any fatalities, nor on the identity of the perp:
Update: 13 people wounded in subway attack. https://t.co/zyVGRBToxs
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) April 12, 2022
NYPD now saying "at least 5" people shot. The suspect was seen in a gas mask and construction vest. Described as a black male, 5'5" 175 to 180 lbs. He remains at large. https://t.co/P5agnF8qii
— Derick Waller (@wallerABC7) April 12, 2022
Update: Via Allahpundit, this appears to be legit video from part of the attack:
Very dramatic video from the incident as the subway arrived at 36th St Sunset Park in Brooklyn. #brooklyn #shooting #nyc pic.twitter.com/5cOdeYPIb1
— Kristoffer Kumm (@Kristofferkumm) April 12, 2022
Update: NYPD’s commissioner says it’s not being investigated as an act of terrorism:
According to NYC Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell the are "no known explosive devices" on New York City subway trains at this time.
"This is not being investigated as an act of terrorism at this time," Sewell says. pic.twitter.com/o3Hp09xjgZ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 12, 2022
I’m not sure if the part about explosive devices refers to the present status or a statement that refutes the earlier reports.
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