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Ten people were shot in an attack on a subway in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Tuesday morning, authorities said, and a manhunt for a suspect is underway.
At a midday press conference, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the shooting began on a Manhattan-bound N train around 8:24 a.m. local time. A man on the train donned what appeared to be a gas mask, took a canister out of his bag and opened it, filling the car with smoke, Sewell said. The man then opened fire, hitting people inside the train and on a nearby platform.
Five of the victims are in critical condition, she said, but none have life-threatening injuries.
The suspect was described as a Black male, about 5 feet 5 inches tall with a heavy build, wearing a green “construction-type” vest and a gray sweatshirt.
“This individual is still on the loose. This is dangerous,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said at the press conference. “This is an active shooter situation right now in the city of New York.”
There were initial reports of undetonated devices found at the scene, but Sewell said no known explosive devices were found. She said that while there is no known motive, the incident is "not being investigated as terrorism" at this time.
According to a law enforcement source, the suspect used a commercial-grade smoke grenade during the incident.
Graphic photos and videos from the scene posted to social media show a bloody man being tended to on the platform and what appears to be smoke filling the station.
One video shows passengers fleeing a smoke-filled subway car, screaming as they spill onto the platform.
— Isaac Abraham (@IsaacAb13111035) April 12, 2022
Multiple news outlets reported that a total of 29 people were injured in the incident, including those who were shot and others who were treated at area hospitals.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who has been self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, said in a video statement that the city “will not allow New Yorkers to be terrorized, even by a single individual.”
"This morning, ordinary New Yorkers woke up in anticipation of a relatively normal day," Hochul told reporters. "They left their homes en route to school, en route to their jobs, and to a normal day. That sense of tranquility and normalness was brutally disrupted by an individual so coldhearted and depraved of heart that they had no caring about the individuals that they assaulted as they simply went about their daily lives."
The 36th Street subway station is located in Brooklyn's Sunset Park, a large working-class neighborhood with significant Chinese American and Mexican American communities.
The shooting triggered a massive police response, with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force assisting the NYPD in its investigation.
According to the Associated Press, police located a U-Haul van believed to be connected to the shooting in Brooklyn. The van was unoccupied and a bomb squad was sent to inspect the vehicle.
The news service also reported that investigators found a credit card at the scene of the shooting that led them to identify a person of interest, and that the credit card was used to rent the U-Haul van.
Speaking in Iowa on Tuesday afternoon, President Biden thanked first responders and civilians who "didn't hesitate to help their fellow passengers and tried to shield them."
Biden said the Justice Department and the FBI are working closely with the NYPD on the ground to find the suspect. "We're not letting up," he said.
The shooting comes amid a rise in violent crime in New York, particularly on its transit system. Since the beginning of 2022, there have been 375 transit crimes, a jump of nearly 73% compared with the same period in 2021, according to the NYPD.
"I'm committing the full resources of our state to fight this scourge of crime, this insanity that is seizing our cities," Hochul added. "Because we want to get back to normal."
Jana Winter contributed reporting to this story.