Man shot with his own gun, critically wounded in fight aboard New York City subway, police say

NEW YORK (AP) — A man was shot multiple times and critically wounded on a New York City subway train as it arrived at a busy station in downtown Brooklyn on Thursday, panicking evening rush hour passengers.

The shooting came a week after Gov. Kathy Hochul sent the National Guard into the subway system to help police search people for weapons after a series of high-profile crimes on city trains.

Authorities said Thursday’s shooting involved two men who police have not identified and who got into a confrontation, and then a physical fight, aboard the moving train just before 4:45 p.m.

One of the men, who police said was 36, pulled out a gun and brandished it. The other man, 32, got possession of the handgun and fired at the person he was arguing with, according to Michael Kemper, the Police Department’s chief of transit.

“The 32-year-old fired multiple shots, striking the 36-year-old,” Kemper said at a media briefing.

Witnesses told police the man who was shot was being “aggressive and provocative” toward the other one before the fight broke out, Kemper said.

The shooting happened at a stop where the NYPD has a small office, and officers were on the platform and quickly took the suspect into custody.

Video posted on social media by an ABC News journalist who was aboard the train when it happened shows passengers crouched on the floor as officers are heard shouting on the platform.

Another video posted by a passenger shows the minutes leading up the shooting. A man paces about the crowded car and threatens to beat up a seated man. They fight until someone breaks it up. But the shouting continues, and one man pulls what appears to be a gun out of his jacket. “Stop! Stop!” passengers yell.

The video does not show the actual shooting, though several loud bangs can be heard over the commotion of the passengers. Riders rush out when the doors open.

“The real victims are the people I saw in those videos who were having a harrowing time because they’re on a train with somebody with a gun,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Janno Lieber said at a news briefing.

Lieber said it was “outrageous” that someone would bring a gun on a train and start a fight. He said it showed the importance of current city and state efforts to get guns off the street.

Hochul deployed 750 members of the National Guard last week to assist city police with bag checks at entrances to busy train stations. The Democrat acknowledged that calling in uniformed service members was as much about sending a public message as it was about making mass transit safer.

Violence in the subway system is rare, with major crimes dropping nearly 3% from 2022 to 2023 and killings falling from 10 to five during the same span, according to police.

But serious incidents have attracted attention, such as a passenger’s slashing of a subway conductor in the neck last month.

AP U.S. News

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