New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the suspected gunman who opened fire on a Brooklyn subway train during the morning rush hour is dangerous and still on the loose.
“We are asking individuals to be very vigilant and alert,” Hochul told reporters at the scene of the investigation. “This is an active shooter situation.”
“There are currently no known explosive devices on our subway trains,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. Early reports said explosive devices may have been involved.
While the gunman’s motive is not yet known, the commissioner said the incident is not being investigated as an act of terrorism at this time.
The attack in the 36th Street Station in the ethnically diverse working class Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn left 16 people injured, 10 of them from gunshot wounds. Police said five are in critical, but stable condition.
Commissioner Sewell said the suspect, a short, heavy-set black male wearing a green vest like construction workers wear, put on a gas mask and then removed a canister from his bag, opened it, and released smoke into the train car.
“He then opened fire, tracking multiple people on the subway and on the platform,” she said.
Photos and videos posted to social media show bloodied victims spilling onto the platform and smoke hanging in the air.
“My subway door opened into calamity. It was smoke and blood and people screaming,” eyewitness Sam Carcamo told local radio station 1010 WINS.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who is in isolation with COVID-19, released a video statement saying he and his team are in constant contact with state and federal authorities. He thanked the first responders.
“We will not allow New Yorkers to be terrorized, even by a single individual,” Adams said. “The NYPD is searching for this suspect at large and we will find him.”
He asked the public to come forward with any information that may assist the investigation.
The White House has also been briefed on the events.
The attack comes against a backdrop of rising violent crime in New York City, including many attacks on the subway.
The mayor, who took office in January, has said reducing crime is a priority of his administration.