NEW YORK — Police released surveillance images Tuesday of two young men wanted for the bloody gang shooting on a Bronx subway train that killed one man and wounded five people, most of them innocent bystanders.
Investigators believe the two suspects, both in their 20s, are gang members who both opened fire on a rival crew after a “chance encounter” on the uptown No. 4 train.
A third gang member also pulled a gun and fired, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said during a City Hall press conference Tuesday. Police have identified one person of interest in the shooting and are looking to identify the two gunmen in the surveillance images. No arrests have been made.
The gunmen may have been targeting a 15-year-old boy wounded in the skirmish, a police source said. The boy, who was shot in the thigh and right ear, is a suspect in a non-fatal prior shooting in the Bronx that occurred north of the station, the source said, and cops are investigating if Tuesday night’s shooting was payback.
The teen remained in a Manhattan hospital Tuesday, under police guard.
Monday’s shooting started on the train but continued onto the train platform and then to the street below, Kenny said.
“We will solve this crime and bring the people responsible to justice,” Mayor Adams vowed Tuesday.
The shooting erupted after members of the two gangs got onto the same uptown No. 4 train heading toward the Mount Eden Ave. station about 4:30 p.m., Kenny said.
“We have two groups known to each other,” Kenny said. “One group gets on at 125th St. in Manhattan and the other at the 161st St. station in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium. Once the groups come together on the train there’s a verbal dispute that leads to a physical fight.”
As the train entered the Mount Eden station shots were fired in the train car.
“You can imagine the chaotic scene,” Kenny said. “You have a crowded train heading into a crowded platform where one shot is fired and everyone’s trying to get off the platform.”
The three suspects pulled .9-mm pistols and fired off 19 shots, Kenny said. Three shell casings were found on the train car while the rest were found on the platform and the street below.
Cops are unsure if anyone from the rival gang fired back in the clash.
At least one person was shot on the train. The others were on the platform waiting to get on the train when bullets started flying.
Obed Beltran-Sanchez, 35, was hit multiple times in the chest and died at St. Barnabas Hospital, cops said. Believed by cops to be homeless, Beltran-Sanchez was an innocent bystander, police said.
In addition to the wounded 15-year-old boy, Alpha Oumar Diallo, 28, was struck in the right arm, a 29-year-old woman shot in the face and neck, and a 14-year-old girl shot in the foot, sources said. A 71-year-old man suffered a graze wound to his left thumb.
Cops stressed that Monday’s shooting was not random and such violence is “not the norm” in the subway system.
“To have a shooting like this in the subway system is extremely rare and unacceptable,” NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper said Monday. “This is not indicative to what goes on in the subway system.”
Officials called the suspects “NYPD’s most wanted” and encouraged them to turn themselves in.
One suspect in the surveillance photos was wearing a dark-colored North Face jacket, gray hoodie, dark-colored ski mask, dark-colored pants and black-and-yellow Air Jordans.
The other was wearing a black jacket, black hoodie, black ski mask, blue ripped jeans and white-and-red Air Jordans.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.