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Brooklyn subway shooting suspect identified using credit card as New York manhunt continues

( Sun )

INVESTIGATORS have identified the suspect who shot at commuters on a smoke-filled subway train in Brooklyn Tuesday while wearing a gas mask.


The suspect was identified after investigators found a credit card at the scene, used to rent a U-Haul van connected to the incident, said law enforcement.






The van was found in Brooklyn, however, its license plate shows it’s from Philadelphia.


“Law enforcement has alerted us to its search for a rental van and its possible connection to a suspect in today’s incident in New York City. We are working closely with authorities to ensure they have any and all available information to meet their needs,” said U-Haul in a statement.


The suspect, described as about 5ft 5in tall, fled wearing a green construction vest, a gray sweatshirt and a gas mask, cops said.


A shock picture showed a tote-like bag, believed to belong to the gunman, was recovered at the scene filled with fireworks.


Inside the bag were a hatchet, pepper spray, two gas canisters, and a smoke grenade, law enforcement sources told NBC.


Police were also able to find a jammed Glock and two extended ammo magazines, sources told the NYPost, suggesting that more hurt may have been caused if the weapon did not malfunction.


According to NBC, shortly before 5pm authorities located the U-Haul van sought in connection to the shooting. It's unclear where the vehicle was located.


The white truck, which has Arizona plates, was found abandoned in Gravesend on West Third Street near Kings Highway. Police closed off surrounding streets as they await a bomb squad to investigate the van.


Detectives put out an alert for the U-Haul van after they reportedly found a credit card at the scene that they believe belongs to the gunman, the Post reported citing sources.


One of the charges racked up on the car is for a U-Haul rental out of Philadelphia, sources told the outlet.


While cameras in the station were inoperable, it has been reported that officials were able to get a photo of the suspect from a bystander's cell phone video.


Police said the incident is not being investigated as an act of terrorism as of yet.


NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said that as the train pulled into the station, the suspect put on a gas mask, pulled out a gas canister from his bag, and began shooting as the car filled with smoke.


"The train at that time began to fill with smoke, he then opened fire, striking multiple people on the subway and on the platform." the NYPD commissioner said.


In total, 29 people were injured, 10 of which were gunshot victims. All the victims are expected to survive.


Investigators are reportedly combing through subway tunnels, based on witnesses saying the perp may have jumped to the tracks.


Speaking to CNN, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who is isolating at Gracie Mansion with Covid-19, said "we do not have a positive ID [on a suspect] at this time."


The gunman is believed to have acted alone. A motive is unknown.


As of 5pm, the suspect remains on the loose.


Fire crews first responded to reports of smoke at the 36th Street station in Sunset Park at around 8.30am.


There they found multiple people shot and reports of undetonated devices, FDNY said.

However, Commissioner Sewell later confirmed there are no known explosives on the subway trains.


An emergency alert sent to New Yorkers told them to avoid the area.


CHAOTIC SCENE


The scary scene occurred onboard a Manhattan-bound N train that was arriving at the 36th street station.


A video posted on the Citizen app showed a heavy law enforcement presence at the scene.

The latest violent episode comes amid fears about public safety as New York City struggles to recover from the pandemic.


Photos from the scene showed several people bloodied on the platform.


“My subway door opened into calamity. It was smoke and blood and people screaming,” eyewitness Sam Carcamo told 1010 WINS.







A bystander video shows 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!”


'HELP ME'


José Echevarria, 50, an electrician who lives in the Sunset Park neighborhood, got on the R train as normal at 53rd Street shortly after 8am.


Echevarria was heading for work in Lower Manhattan and planning to transfer to the N express train at 36th Street.


The 50-year-old’s train pulled into the station parallel to an N train across the platform, but as he went to board the N train, he saw smoke and the flashing of gunshots from a car near the back of it.


“The first thing that I saw was the smoke,” he told the New York Times.


“Then I started hearing the shooting and seeing people screaming and running.”


He said he grabbed one young man, who was yelling in Spanish and pulled him onto the R train he had just been on.


The man had been shot in the knee and was bleeding profusely.


“He was so scared. He was screaming ‘ayudame,’” Spanish for “help me," Echevarria said.


The gunshot victim told Echevarria that he had first seen the shooter at the New Utrecht station, several stops before 36th Street.


Trains servicing that station were delayed during the morning rush hour.


In remarks from Menlo, Iowa, President Joe Biden said his team has been in touch with NYC Mayor Adams and the city's police commissioner, adding " we're not letting up on it until we find out, and we find that the perpetrator."


Police warned New Yorkers to avoid the area and to expect emergency vehicles and delays.


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says trains on the D, N and R lines were delayed amid the investigation.

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