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What We Know About the Brooklyn Subway Shooting

New Yorkers are reeling from an attack that took place on the morning of Tuesday, April 12, in Brooklyn when a gunman detonated smoke bombs on a subway train and shot several people, causing commuters to run in horror. 


The gunman, who has not yet been officially identified, shot 10 people before fleeing the station in Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood, law enforcement officials said. Nobody was in custody as of Tuesday evening.


Police named 62-year-old Frank James, who rented a U-Haul van believed to be connected to the shooting, as a person of interest and has been placed in police custody as of Wednesday, April 13.


"We will not allow New Yorkers to be terrorized even by a single individual," said Mayor Eric Adams in a video statement. "NYPD is searching for the suspect at large, and we will find him."


Adams, who is isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, said police have not found any live explosive devices, but the assailant detonated smoke bombs to "cause havoc."


The attack happened during the morning commute in Sunset Park, a southwestern Brooklyn neighborhood about a 15-minute train ride from Manhattan.


Here's what we know about the attack. 


What happened during the NYC subway shooting?

As a Manhattan-bound N train waited to enter the 36th Street station during rush hour before 8:30 a.m., a man put on a gas mask, took a canister out of his bag and opened it, filling the train car with smoke, said New York City Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell.


The man then opened fire, hitting several people on the subway and on the platform. Police said he shot at least 33 times, based on the number of bullet casings found at the crime scene.


Videos from the scene shared on social media show the smoke-filled train car as passengers flee, some limping off the train. Other videos show bloodied passengers lying on the train platform.


There were no explosives found on subway trains, Sewell said. 


Who is the shooter?

Police were searching for the gunman, described as a Black man with a "heavy build" and who was wearing a green "construction-type vest" and a gray hooded sweatshirt, Sewell also stated earlier Tuesday.


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul urged residents to stay vigilant and called the incident an "active shooter situation."


"This individual is still on the loose," she said. "This person is dangerous."


In an interview with NY1, Adams said the gunman "appeared to have a planned approach to terrorize our system."


"Getting into the source of why he did what he did, that is something that's going to come out after this investigation is completed," Adams said. "We're taking nothing off the table. We need to apprehend the person, dig into their background and get the details to give the proper classification."


James, the person of interest, rented a U-Haul van in Philadelphia that police discovered on Tuesday in Brooklyn. Police said the key to the U-Haul was found among other recovered items at the crime scene, which included a 9mm weapon, magazines, a hatchet, fireworks and gasoline.


How many people were injured?

At least 29 people were treated at hospitals for gunshot wounds, smoke inhalation and other conditions. Ten people were shot.


Five of the victims were in critical but stable condition. There were no life-threatening injuries, Sewell said. 


"We are truly fortunate that this was not significantly worse than it is," Sewell said at a press conference.


No Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers were injured, the New York's Public Transit Union said in a statement.


Attack not being investigated as terrorism 

Sewell said the attack is not currently being investigated as an act of terrorism but did not elaborate. 


"We do not know the motive at this time, but we're not ruling anything out," she said. 


William Bratton, a former New York Police Department commissioner spoke to the press on April 13, said evidence that the attacker may have been motivated by an ideological or political motive may surface later in the investigation, adding that the attack took place in a predominantly Asian community amid a recent rise in violence against Asian American communities.


"Is it terror or just a deranged individual? It’s a question that might take some time, but it will get figured out," Bratton said.


What has Mayor Eric Adams said?

New York Mayor Eric Adams confirmed police haven't found any live explosive devices and that the assailant used smoke bombs to create "havoc."

Adams was absent from the scene and press briefings after testing positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. Although a suspect hasn't been arrested, Adams told MSNBC that authorities recovered "solid evidence" and were "zeroing in" on a possible identity of the gunman.


He said violence needs to be addressed at a nationwide level.


"This is not only a New York City problem. This rage, this violence, these guns, these relentless shootings are an American problem," Adams said during a press conference where he was streamed remotely.


Train service halted

The subway station where the attack occurs serves the D, N and R lines, which all run into Manhattan. Services on the lines in Brooklyn and some Manhattan stations were suspended, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


The shooting comes amid an uptick in crime in the NYC subway system.


Gov. Hochul said that New Yorkers are "sick and tired" of reading headlines about crime.


"No more mass shootings," she said. "No more disrupting lives. No more creating heartbreak for people just trying to live their lives as normal New Yorkers. It has to end now."


The shooting comes amid an uptick in crime in New York City's subway system, where transit crime increased 68% so far in 2022 in comparison to 2021, according to NYPD statistics.


"I'm committing the full resources of our state to fight this scourge of crime, this insanity that is seizing our cities, because we want to get back to normal," Hochul said.


***This story is under development and the information in this article is based on the state of events as of April 14, 2022.