A shootout in the middle of rush hour. A man fired several times about the passengers of a subway train in Sunset Park in the borough of Brooklyn, after throwing smoke bombs there, on Tuesday at 8:24 am The report shows 23 injuries, including ten by bullets. “We were very lucky that it was not much more serious”, New York police chief said during a press conference. A suspect was arrested on Wednesday, April 13, after a lengthy manhunt. Franceinfo reviews what we know about this tragedy.
Hooded man shot passengers
As New York’s subways are packed, a man in a gas mask “opened two canisters that let smoke escape into the train”reported Keechant Sewell, city police chief. “He then shot multiple passengers as the train entered the 36th Street station.” in the neighborhood of Brooklyn.
The attacker fired 33 bullets into the subway. At the scene, investigators found “a Glock 9mm pistol, three ammunition clips, an axe, unactivated explosive devices, liquid believed to be gasoline”specifies the New York Times (in English)along with a vehicle key that allowed them to track down a recently leased and abandoned American U-Haul for-hire truck in Brooklyn.
A suspect has been arrested
After the attack, the police launched a real manhunt to find “a black man” measures approximately 1m65 and “heavyweight”. A suspect was arrested Wednesday afternoon. Police said they arrested Frank Robert James, 62. He will be prosecuted for “terrorist attack”, under a law that prohibits “terrorist attacks and other acts of violence against (…) public transport”announced federal prosecutor Breon Peace during a press conference on Wednesday night, in which he specified that the suspect is serving life imprisonment.
Frank Robert James had nowhere to run or hide, and is now in the custody of the NYPD. The work of our detectives is second to none and the dedication of our patrol officers is endless. pic.twitter.com/uOXliUvoJ7
— Commissioner Sewell (@NYPDPC) April 13, 2022
To find him, the police had released photos of the man who had rented the van, without specifying who was the suspect. Authorities promised a $50,000 reward, according to the New York Times.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 12, 2022
Democratic New York Mayor Eric Adams said at least one security camera at the 36th Street subway station, where the shooting took place, was out of order.
At least 23 people were injured
“It seemed like it was planned. (…) We were trapped on the train. (…) There was a lot of blood on the floor”said one of the passengers on CNN. Fan photos and videos showed pools of blood and people lying on the floor of a train, as well as on the platform at the 36 subway station in Sunset Park.
A passenger on the train on the opposite platform told the New York Timestrapping a young man who had been shot in the leg and was bleeding profusely. “I was so scared”, he testified. The young man also told her that he first saw the shooter at the New Utrecht Avenue station, four stops from 36th Street.
Among the victims, 10 were shot, five of whom are in critical but stable condition, New York police and fire officials said. The other thirteen were injured in the struggle to get out of the subway or by smoke inhalation. The area of 36th Street and 4th Avenue around the subway station was cordoned off for much of Tuesday and many victims were treated at the scene.
The police ruled out the terrorist track
Although the motivations of the shooter are not yet known, the police, who opened an investigation, dismissed the terrorist trail. “No explosives were found in the subway and there is no open investigation for an act of terrorism”Keechant Sewell said.
According to the NYPD, the arrested individual is the wanted one. The man is said to have posted several videos on YouTube in which he engages in lengthy, sometimes virulent, political tirades. in which he evokes racial themes, insecurity in New York, especially in the subway, and attacks homosexual people, or even the mayor of New York. “There have been posts that could be related to the person we are interested in, where he mentions homelessness, where he mentions New York, where he mentions Mayor Adams”New York police chief confirmed.
Elected in November on promises of security, Democratic mayor and former police officer Eric Adams announced in February that he wanted to tighten security in metropolitan areas by evicting more than 1,000 homeless people who regularly shelter there, reports the New York Times (in English). Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, New York has faced an increase in crime, with the number of homicides rising from 319 in 2019 to 488 in 2021.
Joe Biden praised the courage of civilians
“We won’t let him go until we find the perpetrator,” promised the president of the United States, Joe Biden, on a trip to Iowa. He also praised, on Twitter, “first responders and civilians who went into action”.
Jill and I pray for those injured in the New York City subway shooting. We are grateful for the first responders and civilians who sprang into action. My team has been in contact with city officials and we are working to support efforts on the ground.
President Biden (@POTUS) April 12, 2022
The day before, Joe Biden had announced measures against some of the firearms that proliferate in the United States, and that killed 45,000 people in the country in 2021, including suicides, according to the organization Gun Violence Archive.
For her part, the governor of the state of New York, Kathy Hochul, expressed her anger. “We’re sick of reading the headlines about crime, whether it’s shootings or the loss of a teenage girl or 13-year-old. It has to stop.” launched, alluding to several recent victims, including children, of gunshots or stray bullets.