NEW YORK (Reuters) -Multiple people were shot and at least 13 were injured on Tuesday in a New York City subway station, the fire department said, in the latest spasm of violence in the city’s sprawling transit system.
The shootings occurred during the morning commute at the 36th Street subway station in Brooklyn‘s Sunset Park neighborhood.
CNN and other media reported that at least five people were shot, citing sources in the New York Fire Department, but Reuters could not immediately confirm the specific number. It was not immediately clear whether the number of injured people included those who were shot.
The whereabouts of the perpetrator were unclear.
Juliana Fonda, a broadcast engineer at radio station WNYC, told local news website Gothamist that she heard shots while in an adjoining subway car.
“The reaction of the passengers was terrifying because they were trying to get into our car away from something that was happening in the back of the train,” she said. “None of us in the front of the train knew what was going on, but people were pounding and looking behind them, running, trying to get onto the train.”
She added that she heard “a lot of loud pops” and that there was smoke in another train car.
Authorities shut down a dozen or so blocks around the 36th Street subway station and another nearby station, and closed off the immediate area with yellow crime scene tape.
The New York Police Department warned people to stay away from the area, which is known for its thriving Chinatown, views of the Statue of Liberty and Industry City, a sprawling warehouse district that has become home to many creative businesses.
In recent months New York has experienced a rise in gun violence in general and a spate of attacks in the city’s transit system, one of the world’s oldest and most extensive.
Local and federal law enforcement officials gathered at the scene, watched by small crowds of people on sidewalks huddled against buildings in a drizzle. Many officers could be seen donning heavy-duty armor and helmets.
Konrad Aderer, a commuter, was in the stairwell about to enter the 36th Street station when he saw a man with bleeding legs explaining what had happened to a worker at the station booth.
“He just said that there was a lot of people bleeding,” Aderer told Fox News in a phone interview. “He took it upon himself to make sure that people were alerted, despite being injured.”
The fire department initially said that undetonated explosive devices were found at the station, but police later said in a Tweet there were no active explosive devices.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams was being briefed on the situation, his press secretary said in a statement shared on Twitter. Adams recently tested positive for COVID-19.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien; editing by Jonathan Oatis)