Police seek ‘person of interest’ after 29 injured in New York subway shooting

Five in critical condition after suspect filled train with gas and then opened fire

Police in New York have said they are seeking “a person of interest” in relation to a gun attack which left 29 people injured on a subway train on Tuesday morning.

Ten people were shot and five were in critical condition as a result of the incident which took place at the 36th Street station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park area just before 8.30am on Tuesday.

Health officials later said 29 people in total were injured with some hospitalised suffering from smoke inhalation or injuries received during the panic and rush to get out of the subway station after the shooting.

Police said they were looking for a 62-year-old man named Frank James to determine if he had any connection to the incident .


Detectives said he had rented a van in Philadelphia. He said the keys of the van had been found in the subway in New York.

Police said in the incident on Tuesday morning a masked passenger had fired 33 shots from a 9 MM Glock handgun after released two smoke canisters in the subway carriage.

New York police commissioner Keechant Sewell said 10 people were hit by gunfire. A further 13 were injured trying to leave the scene or suffered smoke inhalation.

US media reported that fireworks and gun magazines had been found at the scene and that police were also looking for a U-Haul van that was allegedly connected to the incident.

Ms Sewell said a passenger on the subway train had put on a gas mask, took out a canister from a bag and the carriage then began to fill with smoke.

Speaking at a press conference she said the suspect then opened fire, striking multiple people on the subway train and on the platform.

She said the attack was not being investigated as terrorism at this stage.

The New York fire department said five people were in critical condition, but none of them had suffered life-threatening injuries.

Ms Sewell said the suspect was reported as a black male with a heavy build, wearing a green construction-type vest and a hooded sweatshirt.

New York governor Kathy Hochul said at a press conference on Tuesday: “This individual is still on the loose.

“The NYPD, FDNY, state police, everyone involved in this has one purpose, and that’s to stop the insanity of these crimes.”

She said there was an active shooter situation under way and urged people in New York city to be vigilant.

Ms Hochul said she would commit the full resources of the state to stop a “surge in crime”.

‘Senseless act’

The mayor of New York, Eric Adams, who is in isolation after contracting Covid-19, described the attack as a “senseless act of violence inflicted against passengers” on the city’s subway system. He said a preliminary investigation was under way but authorities did not have a positive identification of the suspect.

Police said there were no known explosive devices on the subway.

Investigators believe the suspect deployed a smoke device to distract people before opening fire in the subway carriage.

Video footage taken at the scene showed smoke and people pouring out of a subway carriage.

In other video and photos, people were seen tending to bloodied passengers lying on the platform, some amid what appear to be puddles of blood, and another person is on the floor of a subway carriage.

Eyewitness Sam Carcamo told radio station 1010 WIN: “My subway door opened into calamity. It was smoke and blood and people screaming.”

He added he saw smoke pouring out of the N train once the door opened.

Inside a subway carriage, one person could be seen lying on the floor, encircled by others. Outside the station, a police officer yelled: “Let’s go! Get out of the way!”

The White House and the department of justice said US president Joe Biden and attorney general Merrick Garland were briefed on the latest developments in the shooting.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent