UPDATED: Gunman opens fire on Brooklyn subway; at least 10 shot
NEW YORK (AP) — At least 10 people were shot and seven others injured when a gunman filled a rush-hour subway train with smoke and opened fire Tuesday morning. Police are still searching for the shooter. There were no life-threatening injuries and the attack was not being investigated as terrorism.
Police say the gunman in the Brooklyn subway shooting fired at least 33 bullets in the train. They are looking for a man who rented a van they believe might be connected to the shooting, although they haven’t established a definitive link.
Chief of Detectives James Essig identified the man as 62-year-old Frank R. James and says James has addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin.
Essig says the van key was found along with a semi-automatic handgun, a hatchet, smoke grenades and other items at the scene. Police have since found the van, empty.
They closed off a street about four miles from the shooting scene and cleared nearby businesses for a time while awaiting a bomb squad and the highly specialized emergency services unit.
Officers around the city had been told that if they spotted the U-Haul truck, they should stop it and detain all occupants immediately.
The train attacked pulled into a station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood.
Five people were in critical condition, New York Fire Department Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said, but Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said there were no life-threatening injuries. Officials said at least 16 in all were injured in some way in the attack at the 36th Street station in the borough’s Sunset Park neighborhood.
"Just before 8:24 this morning as a Manhattan bound train waited to enter the 36th Street station, an individual on that train donned what appeared to be a gas mask. He then took a canister out of his bag and opened it. The train at that time began to fill with smoke. He then opened fire, striking multiple people on the subway and in the platform," Keechant Sewell, New Yourk Police Commissioner said in a press conference. "Again, we will describe him as an individual, he is being reported as a male black, approximately five feet, five inches tall with a heavy build. He was wearing a green construction type vest and a hooded sweatshirt. The color is gray."
According to multiple law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation, preliminary information indicated that the gunman who fled was wearing a construction vest and a gas mask.
Sewell added that the attack was not currently being investigated as terrorism.
A photo from the scene showed people tending to bloodied passengers lying on the floor of the station.
Trains were delayed.