NEW YORK — Police confirmed at a briefing on Tuesday evening that at least 10 people were shot at a Brooklyn subway station in a dramatic morning attack. At least 29 people were treated at local hospitals for various injuries including gunshot wounds, injuries from falls while fleeing and some with anxiety and panic issues.
Police found an unoccupied U-Haul van in Brooklyn matching the description and license plate number of the vehicle being sought in connection with Tuesday’s shooting on a rush-hour subway train, a law enforcement official said.
The person of interest is described as a Black male, who is estimated to be 5 foot 5 inches tall, with a heavy build. Police were looking for a U-Haul in connection with the shooting. Officers around New York City were given the U-Haul's Arizona license plate number and told to stop it and detain all occupants immediately.
Police released the name Frank James during Tuesday's press briefing.
"We are looking to determine if he has any connection to the train," NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. "We know Mr. James rented that U-Haul truck in Philadelphia," he said.
Police were closing off a street about four miles from the shooting scene and clearing nearby businesses while awaiting a bomb squad and the highly specialized emergency services unit. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Officers around the city had been told that if they spotted the U-Haul truck, they should stop it and detain all occupants immediately.
It all comes after a terrifying scene played out on a New York subway train on Tuesday morning. As a train was pulling into the 36th Street station in Sunset Park, police said a man on the train put on a gas mask, deployed a substance-filled canister, and began shooting.
At least five people were previously thought to be in critical condition, with six others suffering various injuries including smoke inhalation. NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that none of the injuries to the victims appeared to be life-threatening, presumably after receiving medical care and assessing their injuries further.
"We will not allow New Yorkers to be terrorized, even by a single individual," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who could not attend a press conference regarding the shooting because he tested positive for COVID-19.
The mayor's spokesperson said that Adams was "isolating" and would "continue to serve New Yorkers by working remotely," CNN reported.
Police briefing Tuesday afternoon:
The incident was not immediately classified as an act of terrorism, according to New York City's police commissioner. However, a motive was still unknown.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul expressed her frustrations with gun violence during Tuesday's press conference.
"No more mass shootings, no more disrupting lives, no more creating heartbreak for people just trying to live their lives as normal," Hochul said. "It has to end ... has to end now."
People with information about the incident are asked to call 800-577-TIPS.