NEW YORK — (AP) — An argument between two groups of teenagers riding the New York City subway exploded into deadly violence Monday when shooting started after the train's doors opened at a station, killing a man and wounding five others.
The gunfire broke out on an elevated train platform in the Bronx at around 4:30 p.m., a time when stations throughout the city are filled with kids coming home from school and many workers are beginning their evening commute.
A 34-year-old man was killed, police said. The wounded included a 14-year-old girl, 15-year-old boy and three adults, ages 28, 29 and 71. Some of the victims were believed to have been involved in the dispute and others were bystanders waiting for the train, police said, describing four of the injuries as serious.
"We don’t believe this was a random shooting. We do not believe that this was an individual indiscriminately firing into a train or a train station," NYPD’s chief of transit, Michael Kemper, said at a news conference.
A hunt was on for at least one shooter, who fled the scene. Police didn't rule out the possibility that more than one person fired shots.
The gunfire sent passengers rushing off the train while people on the platform scrambled for safety.
“The train was coming and there were two kids yelling,” witness Efrain Feliciano, 61, told the Daily News. “There were at least six shots.”
“I saw sparkles as the bullets hit the wall,” he added “A woman was holding a child screaming.”
Video from television news helicopters showed the train stopped at the station and orange evidence cones on the platform, which is three stops north of Yankee Stadium.
“It was total pandemonium,” Luis Rodriguez, 34, told The New York Post. “It makes you scared to ride the train.”
Fear of violence on the subway system spiked after a string of headline-making incidents in recent years, including a mass shooting by a man who randomly shot and wounded 10 people aboard a train in Brooklyn in 2022.
Overall, crime in New York City has actually been plummeting since a spike at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of people shot citywide dropped 39% last year compared to 2022. Killings on the subway system also dropped last year, from 10 to 5, according to Metropolitan Transportation Authority statistics.
Calling in to 1010 WINS radio after Monday afternoon's shooting in the Bronx, Mayor Eric Adams touted the work police have done to get guns off the street and reduce violence. But he acknowledged that more needs to be done to make people comfortable riding a system still coming back from major ridership losses during the worst pandemic years.
“Not only people must be actually safe, but what we have done in lowering crime, they must feel safe,” Mayor Eric Adams said on 1010 Wins radio, “and something like this can send shockwaves throughout our entire system.”
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