A witness to the aftermath of Tuesday’s horrific shooting at a New York City subway station says he was warned of the chaos by a bloodied victim who staggered toward him with wounds on his legs.
Konrad Aderer, a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker, told The US Sun he missed being caught up in the violence at The New York Times 36th Street subway station in the sunset park, Brooklynby a few moments this morning.
The attack erupted around 8:30 a.m. when a suspect, reportedly wearing a gas mask and reflective vest, detonated a smoke grenade and then opened fire on morning commuters on an N train bound for Manhattan.
At least 16 people were hospitalized with injuries of varying severity, including eight gunshot victims.
The suspect has not yet been identified but remains at large. Police described the shooter as a black man who is believed to be around 5ft 5in tall and weighs 170lbs.
Aderer was walking down a flight of stairs at the station when he saw a shooting victim limping toward him and shouting to MTA staff that people were injured on the platform below.
“I saw this guy coming to the station cabin with his pants down and he was bleeding from both his legs,” Aderer told The US Sun.
“He told the agent very vividly that there were injured and bleeding people on the platform.
Aderer said he was incredibly concerned for the bleeding man. He considered hanging around to find out more and see if he could help in any way, but ultimately decided to “just quit.”
“At that point I decided I knew as much as I needed and there was no reason for me to be there another second,” he said.
“I was very concerned for the man but luckily – at least I hope I’m right when I say it – he wasn’t badly injured or anything as he managed to get up the steps.
“Part of me wanted to find out what happened and help, but it just didn’t seem wise,” Aderer added. “I have a family and I would have just risked myself and not really helped [by being there].”
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As Aderer sped out of the subway station, he saw streams of police officers and other responders rushing down the steps in the opposite direction.
He said: “So I knew the man was getting the help he needed and my presence there was not required at all.”
John Ramsey, who has lived in the Sunset Park area for two decades, also witnessed the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
He told The US Sun: “I’ve never seen anything like it… When I saw people running off the train screaming, I knew it wasn’t normal.
“People were wearing masks, so I couldn’t understand what they were saying. But it was this mass exodus of people. They were confused. Nobody knew where to go.”
Arderer believes he may have missed being on the platform when the shots erupted by just minutes or even seconds.
Arderer, who lives locally with his family, said he was ultimately held up by a series of “unusual” events, including an interaction with a crying woman who asked to borrow his phone after she lost hers.
“I was walking down the first flight of stairs in the station when a very upset woman came up to me and asked if she could use my phone,” he said.
“She said she just lost her phone on the train, so I guess she didn’t know [about the shooting] but otherwise she would have told me.”
Arderer said he was also stopped by a text message with his wife, during which the two discussed whether he should take care of something at home before leaving for work.
“So I’ve had this break and these delays have kept me from being on the platform much earlier,” said Arderer. “I don’t know how much I missed it or if I would have been in any danger, but the timing of it all was very, very close to the incident.”
After Arderer found out about the shooting, he texted his wife to say “something happened down here,” and he was now on his way home.
He had taken his children on the same subway line about 20 minutes earlier, after accompanying them on their morning commute to school.
“SO MANY SHOTS”
Arderer said he didn’t hear any gunshots or see anything out of the ordinary at the station, aside from the bloodied victim standing at the MTA booth.
However, a witness who was on the platform when the shooting began testified New York Post So many shots were fired that she “lost counting”.
“There were how many of them. I don’t even know how many,” she told the Post, adding that the perpetrator wearing the gas mask “dropped some kind of cylinder that sparked at the top.”
“I thought he was an MTA staffer at first because I figured I wouldn’t like to be too careful. You know? You’ve got the orange on,” she told the outlet.
Manhunt for suspects underway
FDNY said they responded to a smoke call at the 36th Street stop just before 8:30 a.m. and found multiple gunshot victims.
The injured were taken to NYU Langone in Brooklyn and Methodist Hospital, officials said.
A manhunt for the shooter is ongoing with investigators reportedly combing subway tunnels, based on some witness accounts he may have jumped onto the tracks.
Police have not yet speculated on a motive for the shooting, but it is believed the gunman acted alone. New York City Police Department Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell told a news conference that the incident is not currently being investigated as an act of terrorism.
A report from Rolling Stone suggested that a police error may have allowed the suspect to flee and evade immediate arrest.
An unnamed source told the outlet that the suspect’s escape may have been facilitated by a local service captain who reportedly didn’t freeze all trains in and out of the 36th Street station.
While an investigation continues, the New York Fire Department confirmed this morning that officers found “several unexploded devices” at the scene of the shooting.
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police warned New Yorkers to avoid the 3rd-5th Avenue area of 20th-40th Streets in Brooklyn.
The 36th Street subway station serves the D, N and R trains.
A video posted on the Citizen app showed a heavy law enforcement presence at the scene.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she had been briefed on the situation and would be cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation.
“I pray for all victims, their families, all those affected. I am grateful for the quick action of our first responders. To everyone in New York, stay safe,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted.
Schools in Brooklyn subway shooting area are in shelter-in-place mode.
Jersey City steps up security as Brooklyn attacker still fires at large
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5108071/brooklyn-subway-shooting-witness-reveals-horror-aftermath-attack/ Witnesses to the subway attack recall seeing victims with gaping wounds and reveal the horrifying aftermath of the gunshots