NYC subway shooting a ‘wake up call’ — coming on heels of NY Gov. Kathy Hochul’s National Guard safety plan: lawmakers

New York lawmakers sounded the alarm about needing to boost subway safety in the aftermath of Thursday’s shooting underground — which came a little over a week after Gov. Kathy Hochul flooded the city’s public transit system with National Guardsmen.

Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) said the shooting was a “wake up call” to New York’s lefty politicians, while Albany Democrats questioned whether Hochul’s subway safety plan was enough.

“Yesterday’s subway shooting in #Brooklyn…should be a wake up call to New York’s left wing leaders that we need adequate policing levels in our subways & on our streets, as well as laws that keep criminals OFF our streets,” Malliotakis wrote on X Friday morning.

“We need to prioritize spending on the needs of citizens, not illegal immigrants. We need laws that protect the law-abiding, not the law-breaking. We need safe subways, not congestion pricing,” she insisted.

Malliotakis’ comments came on the heels of the terrifying Thursday evening incident in which a 36-year-old man was shot in the head with his own weapon while wrestling another man in the middle of a crowded subway at Brooklyn’s Hoyt-Schermerhorn station.

A deadly subway shooting on Thursday has city dwellers on edge.
A deadly subway shooting on Thursday has city dwellers on edge.

As of Friday afternoon, Dejuan Robinson, was hospitalized in critical condition, while the shooter had not been charged due to evidence of self-defense, officials said.

“It’s critical that we do everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of our communities; there are entirely too many guns in New York, and too easy access to them,” Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn), who represents the area where the shooting took place, said Friday.

“The Governor’s recent deployment of the National Guard was unwarranted and caused fear rather than a sense of safety,” she added.

Assemblyman Brian Cunningham (D-Brooklyn) told The Post that the situation was “horrific,” and said Albany needs to invest in a safer subway system.

“I don’t think there will be enough National Guard or police to fill every single subway car in New York City, quite frankly. I think it was a response, but I don’t know if that would have deterred yesterday’s event,” he said.

The shooting took place during rush hour on Thursday.
The shooting took place during rush hour on Thursday.

Cunningham said he’d like to see more investment in mental health services and federal action on gun safety.

Assemblyman Lester Chang (R-Brooklyn), however, insisted that there should be even more guards in the subways.

“There is not enough 750 National Guards to do a bag search for every subway stations, we need at least 3,000 Guardsman,” he wrote on X.

“That might have prevented a shooting yesterday at a downtown Bklyn station,” he claimed.

Hochul, who had yet to comment on the shooting, announced she assembled a task force on subway and transit safety.

The group, made up of law enforcement and prosecutors from the five boroughs as well as the MTA, met for the first time Friday to discuss “strategies for enhanced and early coordination across and within boroughs, strategies to stop recidivists, and tackling issues with evidence.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently deployed the National Guard at some subway stops. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock
Gov. Kathy Hochul recently deployed the National Guard at some subway stops. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock

“Like all New Yorkers, I’m horrified by yesterday’s shooting on the A Train. No subway rider should commute in fear that they’ll be the victim of a shooting or slashing – and we’re taking coordinated action to keep straphangers safe,” Hochul wrote in a statement.

“The only way to solve the recent spike in subway crime is to collaborate across all levels of government. Working together with Mayor [Eric] Adams, police, prosecutors and transit officials, we’ll make sure every New Yorker is protected. ”

Straphangers, meanwhile, were wary of using the transit system Friday, particularly the subway stop where the shooting took place.

“I didn’t even want to come to this train station anymore,” Myah Nelson, 41, told The Post at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, adding that she was “so afraid and scared” while visiting the city from her new home in New Jersey.

“I’ve moved to New Jersey.  That’s how bad it is. I don’t even live in New York no more. I’m visiting,” said Nelson, who grew up in Brooklyn but moved because of the city’s crime issues.

“[The National Guard] should have been here earlier. Once COVID was going on, it was like a free for all in attacking people. After COVID nothing was implemented so the problem got worse,” she added, saying “they need more cops, especially in Brooklyn.”

“Nostrand Avenue train station is the worst. This one is horrible even with the police station upstairs,” Nelson shook her head.

Hopeton Clark, 78, agreed that more police should be in the stations.

“We need a few more boots on the ground – not just on the platform, not just standing in one place but moving around to different cars, to different stops… I believe their presence will cause people to change their minds if they are up to no good,” Clark said.

“Every time I hear something like this, shooting, it makes me feel more scared.”

Adrian Bennett, who lives in Far Rockaway but takes thee A train almost every day to pick her granddaughter up from school, said she was “disgusted” by what happened.

“Even though they say crime is down, it does not seem that way especially  in the subway,” Bennett said.

When asked about the National Guard’s presence, Bennet said, “I think that’s just for show and that’s all I am going to say.”

“I have a certain place that I sit,” she added of her own strategy for staying safe during rush hour.
“I look around because I have my granddaughter with me. I don’t want her to get hurt and I don’t want to get hurt.”