A confrontation between two rival gangs led up to the Monday shooting inside a Bronx subway station that left one person dead and five injured, including two teenagers, New York City police said.
Gunfire erupted as a northbound No. 4 train pulled into the Mt. Eden subway station just after 4:30 p.m., New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said Tuesday.
Inside, there were two groups of people – one who had boarded the train at 125th Street and another who had boarded near Yankee Stadium, Kenny said at a news conference. Police have said they were teenagers.
“Once the groups come together on the train there’s a verbal dispute that quickly leads to a physical fight,” Kenny said. As the train pulled into the station, a shot was fired inside the train car, he added.
More shots were fired on the platform as people frantically fled the train, NYPD’s Chief of Transit Michael Kemper said Monday evening.
“If you could imagine a chaotic scene, you have a crowded train pulling into a crowded platform, one shot being fired. Now everyone is trying to scramble to get off the platform,” Kenny said.
Police received multiple 911 calls related to the shooting, Kenny said. Police arrived a short time after the shooting and found three victims on the platform and two on the street. The fifth victim walked to a nearby hospital.
The wounded included people from the groups of teenagers and bystanders, according to Kemper.
The 35-year-old man who was killed had been shot in the chest, Kenny said. Police had earlier said he was 34. The man was from Tehuacan, Mexico, where officials are providing support to his family, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alicia Barcena said in a post on X.
The injured victims include a 14-year-old girl shot in the foot, a 14-year-old boy shot in the leg, a 29-year-old man shot in the arm, a 29-year-old woman shot in the face and neck and a 71-year-old man shot in the thumb, according to Kenny.
Police are now searching for three shooters and have identified a person of interest who belongs to one of the gangs, he said.
One of the shooters fled the scene wearing a red jacket and ski mask, a law enforcement source told CNN.
On Monday, Kemper said the subway was safe and this incident “is not the norm.”
“Shootings were down last year. To have a shooting like this in the subway system is extremely rare and unacceptable,” he said. “The bigger question is why do people feel emboldened to pull guns out and shoot? There must be (legal) consequences.”
Authorities said they will distribute photos from surveillance cameras when they are available. Detectives are interviewing witnesses to the shooting, they said.
Janno Lieber, chair and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said this kind of violence is unacceptable.
“New York’s heart breaks,” Lieber said. “New York’s heart breaks when people are headed home, and kids who are coming home for school to do their homework, are subjected to random acts of violence, like what occurred here late this afternoon.”
Tarik Sheppard, police deputy commissioner of public information, had a stern message for the shooter Monday.
“You are now NYPD’s most wanted and you have the greatest detectives in the world looking for you,” Sheppard said. “We suggest you turn yourself in because you’re not going to make it.”
This is a developing story and has been updated.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified the NYPD official who urged the shooter to come forward. It was Tarik Sheppard.
CNN’s Rob Frehse, Steve Almasy, Elizabeth Wolfe and Nic F. Anderson contributed to this report.