NYPD is on a manhunt for the alleged gunman who opened fire on a Brooklyn subway vehicle during rush hour Tuesday morning, killing ten people and sending scores fleeing in horror, was still ongoing hours later.
Meanwhile, the gunman’s name is unknown, but NYPD investigators are going through videos and chatting with witnesses to piece together evidence that will help them find him.
Moreover, they’ve identified a 62-year-old man as a person of interest, who police say rented a U-Haul van linked to the attack and is a suspect, but NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig says they’re not sure if he’s connected to the subway attack.
The accused shooter was described as a male standing 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds, according to police.
Further, just before 5 p.m., a van matching the police description was discovered on Kings Highway in Gravesend with Arizona licence plates.
Senior law enforcement sources claimed the van was later examined and cleared, with cops removing a table, seats, and memory foam pillows from inside.
According to investigators, the individual who hired the van, person of interest Frank James, has ties to Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Law enforcement sources claimed he had previous criminal convictions in those states, as well as ties to New York.
Moreover, making “terroristic threats” was part of his criminal background, but authorities claimed the threats were similar to those made by mentally unstable people.
Commissioner Keechant Sewell of the New York Police Department (NYPD) described his internet statements as “concerning.”
According to licence plate reader data and other information, James appears to have driven the rental van to New York from Pennsylvania on Monday.
Investigators received a video from the area where the van was discovered parked at 5 a.m. Tuesday that appeared to show a man matching the description of the subway attacker coming from the van.
Earlier in the day, a senior law enforcement official stated that authorities have a photograph of the suspect, but that they were still working to identify him at the moment.
Further, on Tuesday evening, no suspects or persons of interest, including James, were in police custody.
When the suspect opened fire around 8:30 a.m. at the 36th Street and Fourth Avenue station in Sunset Park, he was wearing a gas mask, a green construction mask, and a grey hooded sweatshirt, according to Sewell.
Meanwhile, three sources told NBC New York that the MTA surveillance camera at the subway station was not operational at the time of the incident.
Later, MTA Chair Janno Lieber was asked about the camera not working correctly, but he did not respond.
At a press conference, Sewell stated that the motive for the attack was unknown at the time.
“There are currently no known explosive devices on our subway trains and this is not being investigated as an act of terrorism at this time,” Sewell said earlier in the day.
Moreover, the culprit, according to NYPD cops, acted alone. The gunman remained on the run Tuesday evening as police searched subway tunnels, based on witness allegations that he may have jumped to the tracks.
NYPD discovers accessories at the site of the tragedy
A .9-mm semi-automatic handgun, as well as a bag of smoke canisters and pyrotechnics, were discovered at the site, according to authorities. A hatchet, two extra extended clips of ammo, a fuse, and a gasoline spray bottle were also discovered, according to NYPD authorities.
However, according to NBC New York, the gun used by the suspect may have jammed, saving a larger catastrophe. Inside the train car, however, the shooter was able to fire at least 33 times.
Meanwhile, a total of ten persons were hit by gunfire, with five of the victims being badly injured. According to NYPD, an additional 13 persons were injured as a result of falling, smoke inhalation, or other injuries sustained during the panic that followed the rounds being fired. The nature of the other victims’ injuries remained unknown, but at least 29 individuals were being treated at surrounding hospitals as a result of the incident.
Moreover, a $50,000 reward was offered by NYPD police, the MTA, and the Transport Workers Union for information leading to the shooter’s capture and indictment.
People were bloodied on the platform in photos posted to social media, while footage from the Citizen app showed a large police presence at the incident.
According to sources, several of the injured boarded another train to evacuate to the next station.
New Yorkers were advised to avoid the area and to expect emergency vehicles and delays, according to the NYPD. The N/R Line was shut down from 59 Street to Atlantic Avenue, causing substantial delays on the B, D, F, N, Q, and R lines. The W service has been suspended.
Shelter in place orders was issued for local schools, but those orders were revoked by mid-afternoon for most schools not directly in the region, according to a Department of Education official. It’s unclear how many people were impacted.
The investigation is being led by the New York Police Department. ATF and HSI federal investigators were present on the scene.