NYPD Search For Gunman Suspected of Unprovoked Subway Killing

Police in New York said they were searching for a man suspected of fatally shooting another passenger on a Manhattan-bound Q train on the morning of May 22, in an attack authorities said was unprovoked.

The shooting happened shortly before 11.45 in the last car of a Q train as it crossed the Manhattan bridge, officials said at a Sunday press conference.

“According to witnesses, the suspect was walking back and forth in the same train car and without provocation pulled out a gun and fired at the victim at close range,” said NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey. “When the train pulled into the Canal Street station the suspect fled off the train.”

The victim, identified as a 48 year old man, was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he later died. Corey said that the NYPD had made no arrests but was reviewing security footage and speaking with witnesses. He asked for the public’s help in identifying the suspect. Credit: NYPD via Storyful

Video transcript

- [INAUDIBLE]

KENNETH COREY: All right. Thank you all for coming today. I'm Kenneth Corey, the chief of department. Joining me is Jason Wilcox, the chief of transit, Deputy Chief Henry Sautner, commanding officer of Manhattan south detectives, Captain Eric Sandseth, the commanding officer of transit district two, as well as Richard Davey, the President of the MTA New York City transit.

I want to remind you that the information I'm about to provide is preliminary, as this incident is only a few hours old. Earlier today, at approximately 11:42 AM, officers responded to a report of a person shot inside of the Canal Street train station located within the confines of the fifth precinct. Upon arrival, the officers discovered a 48-year-old male with a gunshot wound to his torso. Officers immediately began to render aid and requested EMS.

FDNY EMS arrived on the scene and transported the victim to Bellevue Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The preliminary investigation reveals that the 48-year-old man was riding on a Manhattan-bound Q train, and seated in the last car of the train. According to witnesses, the suspect was walking back and forth in the same train car, and without provocation, pulled out a gun and fired it at the victim at close range as the train was crossing the Manhattan Bridge.

When the train pulled into the Canal Street station, the suspect fled off the train. Investigators are in possession of and currently reviewing the MTA security video obtained from the station. Witnesses have been located and are being interviewed by detectives. And at this time, there are no arrests. The suspect is described as a dark skinned male who is heavyset with a beard. He was last seen wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt, gray sweatpants, and white sneakers.

I'm urging anyone who has any information that can help us with this investigation to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls will be kept strictly confidential. Now I'm going to turn it over to Mr. Richard Davey to say a few words.

RICHARD DAVEY: Thank you. First, a few things. First I want to obviously extend our heartfelt condolences to the victim's family and for those who are on the train and experienced this tragic event. Second, just want to, again, thank NYPD, transit police, and others who have been helping stem the crime on our system, although obviously today's incident is tragic.

And as mentioned, we are cooperating with the police in this investigation with video and other evidence. So we look forward to finding this perpetrator and bringing the person to justice.

KENNETH COREY: OK, I can take a few questions.

- Raise your hand.

- Can you tell us, again, there was no provocation? Was this person-- had this person been riding the train for a long time? Was this person perhaps panhandling? Can you tell us anything more about the suspect?

KENNETH COREY: Yeah, so right now, with-- and again, this is really still early in the investigation. What we've gotten from the witness is there is no prior contact between the victim and the suspect.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- This is on the heels of a horrific shooting that happened just over a month ago. What's your message to commuters who may hear [INAUDIBLE]?

KENNETH COREY: So the first one, is help us find this guy. All right? There's other people riding the train. We have some of them. Others who saw something, maybe somebody who took a photo, or some video on their cell phone, please share it with us. Give us a call again, 805-577-TIPS. We've pushed a lot of additional officers down into the subway system. We continue to do that to patrol this very extensive transit system that we have. And we're going to keep doing that.

- Person over here.

- Was the victim the only person that was injured during this?

KENNETH COREY: Yes. The victim is the only person that was injured.

- Anyone else?

- Was there anyone else in the train car with the victim?

KENNETH COREY: There were other people in the train car. I don't know if anybody is accompanying the victim. But there were other riders in the car as well.

- So no on else was hurt?

KENNETH COREY: No one else was injured.

- Right here.

- [INAUDIBLE] a question for Mr. Davey again [INAUDIBLE]. It's slightly off topic, but [INAUDIBLE].

- We're going to stay on topic.

- It's on topic. The majority of attacks on transit workers is harassment against bus workers. I think that's 3 out of 4 cases. This came up last week. Knowing this, do you want to tackle that specifically [INAUDIBLE] cockpits [INAUDIBLE]?

RICHARD DAVEY: Yeah, well, on the topic of transit worker assaults, I mean, it's outrageous and it shouldn't be happening. Right? So I think as the chairman said last week, we're willing to work and labor on all issues looking at cockpits for example. I think what we're also really pushing for is a bill in Albany that expands the definition of assaults on transit workers to include everybody. So I think those are the tips and those are the tools I think we want to get those perpetrators as well.

- Is there any other information about the victim? Was he heading to work? Does he leave behind a family? Is he from Brooklyn? Anything other than [INAUDIBLE]?

KENNETH COREY: Yeah, so we're not ready to release the information about the victim yet. We still have to notify his family and have those conversations. But when we have that, we'll provide that to you.

- Last one. Last question.

- Question was this happened on the bridge over the Manhattan-- on the Manhattan Bridge. Why did the train stop here in the Canal Street station? And what was happening on the train as this news was spreading among the, I guess, the driver, the staff, and the riders that this violent incident had happened?

KENNETH COREY: I believe this is the first stop on the train off the Manhattan Bridge. So this is the first Manhattan stop once the train crosses the bridge. I'm not sure that anyone outside of that train car was aware of what was happening. It was in the last car of the train. The train pulled into the station, the suspect fled off of the train into the station, and presumably topside. But again, that's something we're still trying--

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