It was horror on the subway, bringing fear to the daily commute, as Correspondent Robert Moore reports
At least 10 people were shot and eight others injured on Tuesday at a New York city subway station during a morning rush hour attack, that left commuters injured on the train platform and police searching for the suspect.
Crews responded to reports of smoke at the 36th Street station in Sunset Park at around 8.30am (1.30pm BST) and found multiple people shot, a New York City Fire Department spokesperson said.
Fire and police officials were investigating reports that there had been an explosion, but the police department tweeted that there were “no active explosive devices at this time.”
There were no life-threatening injuries and the attack was not being investigated as terrorism. Officials said at least 16 in all were injured.
Multiple smoke devices were found on the scene, said mayoral spokesperson Fabien Levy, who confirmed the initial shooting injury count.
Sources said preliminary information indicated the suspect was wearing a construction vest and a gas mask.
Photos from the scene showed people tending to bloodied passengers lying on the floor of the station and the air filled with smoke.
“My subway door opened into calamity. It was smoke and blood and people screaming,” eyewitness Sam Carcamo told radio station 1010 WINS, saying he saw a huge billow of smoke pouring out of the train once the door opened.
A bystander video showed people lying on the subway platform amid what appeared to be small puddles of blood, as a loudspeaker announcement told everyone on the smoke-hazy platform to get on a train.
Inside a subway car, a person lay on the floor, encircled by others. Outside the station, a police officer yelled, “Let’s go! Get out of the way!”
Trains did not stop at the station and people were asked to avoid the area of 36th Street and 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ office did not immediately have more details. Mr Adams was at the mayor’s residence on Tuesday morning and was being briefed.
Local schools, including Sunset Park High School across the street, were locked down.
Danny Mastrogiorgio of Brooklyn had just dropped his son off at school when he saw a crush of passengers, included multiple wounded, running up the subway stairway at the 25th Street station in panic. At least two had visible leg injuries, he said.
“It was insane,” he said. “No one knew exactly what was going on.”
Allan Lee was running his business, Cafe Nube, when a half-dozen police cars and fire vehicles suddenly arrived.
“Then they started ushering people that were on the block to the adjacent block and then closed off the subway entrance” near the cafe’s door, he said. When he noticed bomb squad officers and dogs, he was certain it was no everyday subway problem.
The shootings come as New York City has faced a spate a shootings and high-profile incidents in recent months, including on the city’s subways.
One of the most shocking was in January when a woman was pushed to her death in front of a train by a stranger.