NYC mayor says quiet Tuesday morning turned into a "war zone" on the N train
From CNN's Rob Frehse
The quiet commute Tuesday morning on the N train turned into a “war zone” in Brooklyn, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday evening.
“We saw a quiet Tuesday morning turn an N train into a war zone as a smoke bomb was detonated and multiple shots rang out,” Adams said during a briefing.
He praised the MTA, passengers and first responders to acting quickly and cooperatively to save lives.
“Thanks to the quick thinking of the MTA crew and the bravery and cooperation of passengers, lives were saved,” he added.
Adams again blamed the scourge of gun violence in New York City and across the country, saying he would “continue to dam the rivers that feed the sea of violence.”
“It’s going to take the entire nation to speak out and push back against the cult of death that has taken hold in this nation,” Adams said. “A cult that allows innocence to be sacrificed on a daily basis.”
8:02 p.m. ET, April 12, 2022
Authorities offering $50,000 reward for information leading to arrest of suspect in Brooklyn shooting
From CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian
New York City agencies are offering a joint $50,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the suspect involved in Tuesday’s shooting at a subway station in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
The MTA and Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 both offered $12,500 each in reward money and the New York City Police Foundation offered $25,000 in reward money to bring the total reward offering to $50,000.
“We are doing everything we can to catch the man responsible for this heinous attack on our riders,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said in the news release. “New Yorkers know that if they see something, they should say something, especially in this case. Justice must be served.”
“Riders need to feel safe. My members need to feel safe. We don’t just dip in and out of the system. We spend entire shifts down there every day and night. This guy has to be apprehended,” TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said.
8:44 p.m. ET, April 12, 2022
U-Haul van tied to subway shooting was rented in Philadelphia yesterday, company records show
From CNN's Paul P. Murphy
New York police said Tuesday that the U-Haul van they are investigating was rented by Frank James, who they named as a person of interest in the investigation.
The van was rented on April 11 from a U-Haul store in Philadelphia, according to company records obtained by CNN.
The records show Frank James rented the van using a Wisconsin license with a Milwaukee address.
“Mr. James is just a person of interest we know right now who rented that U-Haul van in Philadelphia,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said at a press conference Tuesday night. “The keys to that U-Haul van was found in the subway in our shooter's possessions. We don’t know right now if Mr. James has any connection to the subway. That’s still under investigation.”
The rental agreement obtained by CNN shows that the U-Haul reservation was made on April 6, and was scheduled to be picked up on April 11 at 2:01 p.m. ET. The van was supposed to be rented for two days, according to the reservation.
8:55 p.m. ET, April 12, 2022
NYPD seeking person of interest in Brooklyn subway shooting
The New York Police Department said they are seeking a person of interest in connection to the Brooklyn subway shooting who they believe rented the U-Haul van whose keys were found at the scene.
Police are investigating whether he has any connection to the shooting and have not named him as a suspect.
Officials say they are looking for 62-year-old Frank James who has addresses in both Wisconsin and Philadelphia. Officials believe James rented the U-Haul truck in Philadelphia that was found in Brooklyn.
"We are endeavoring to locate him to determine his connection to the subway shooting, if any," NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said during a news conference Tuesday. "The two crime scenes, the subway and the van, are very active and are still being processed."
The key of the U-Haul van was found at the crime scene in the subway, the official said, which led to the recovery of the van in Brooklyn.
“Mr. James is just a person of interest we know right now who rented that U-Haul van in Philadelphia,” Essig said. “The keys to that U-Haul van was found in the subway in our shooter's possessions. We don’t know right now if Mr. James has any connection to the subway. That’s still under investigation.”
Essig said they do not have anyone in custody at the moment related to the shooting.
"We are asking anyone's help with information. Cell phone video, witness information or if they can identify the perpetrator or the renter of this vehicle," Essig said.
The official said there is a $50,000 reward right now.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said there are possibly some social media postings connected to James in which he mentions homelessness, New York and Mayor Eric Adams. Out of an abundance of caution, Adams’ security detail will be heightened, Sewell said.
The NYPD is asking the public to send any information about the person of interest by calling 1-800-577-TIPS.
CNN’s Rob Frehse and Laura Ly contributed reporting to this post.
8:42 p.m. ET, April 12, 2022
Brooklyn subway shooting victim helped passenger who was shot in the leg: "I literally dodged many bullets"
From CNN's Sharif Paget
Claire Tunkel, 46, told CNN she took off her jacket and tied it around the leg of a man who suffered a gunshot wound from Tuesday's subway shooting in Brooklyn.
Tunkel, who went to the hospital for smoke inhalation, said several gunshot victims were laying on the floor of the subway platform after the train arrived at the station.
"One of the guys who was shot, his leg was bleeding pretty bad, so I took off my jacket and tied it around his leg," she said.
Tunkel was in the subway car where the shooting took place and described the scene as chaotic. While she couldn't see anything because of the smoke, she said she heard people crying out for help and others who said they were bleeding.
"You couldn't see anything, but you could feel it," she said. People were rushing to the front of the car, and some fell to the ground, she noted. "You could feel the bodies."
Tunkel said she's physically fine, but still pretty shook.
"I literally dodged many bullets today. That's huge, that's a big thing to digest," she said.
7:27 p.m. ET, April 12, 2022
Brooklyn subway shooter fired gun 33 times, striking at least 10 people, official says
From CNN's Rob Frehse
The suspect in the Brooklyn shooting opened smoke grenades on the train and fired his gun 33 times, striking at least 10 people Tuesday morning, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig announced.
Later at the scene, investigators found a Glock handgun, three extended magazines, two detonated smoke grenades, two non-detonated smoke grenades and a hatchet, Essig added.
Essig said they also found a U-Haul key at the scene which led them to the recovery of the van in Brooklyn, Essig said.
None of the injuries to the victims appear to be life-threatening, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
“We know this incident is of grave concern to New Yorkers,” Sewell said. “We cannot lose sight of victims in this city. We will use every resource we can to bring those to justice who continue to prey on the citizens of New York.”
7:11 p.m. ET, April 12, 2022
NOW: Officials provide update on Brooklyn subway shooting investigation
From CNN staff
New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and other officials are providing an update on the Brooklyn subway shooting investigation.
Ahead of the briefing, two law enforcement sources told CNN that investigators identified the shooting suspect after finding a credit card at the scene that was used to rent a U-Haul cargo van.
The U-Haul cargo van that police say is “connected with” the shooting has also been located in Brooklyn, two law enforcement officials told CNN earlier today.
The New York Police Department’s bomb squad is responding to the Brooklyn scene where the found U-Haul is, a law enforcement source tells CNN.
The shooter, who fled the scene, was described as a 5-foot-5-inch Black man with a heavy build wearing a green construction vest and a gray hooded sweatshirt.
Authorities said they discovered cellphone video from an eyewitness showing the suspect.
The shooting left at least 29 people injured, who were treated at three nearby hospitals for injuries, none of which are life-threatening, according to hospital representatives.
Of the injured, 10 people were shot, while others were treated for smoke inhalation, shrapnel and panic in the attack, FDNY First Deputy Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said.
5:55 p.m. ET, April 12, 2022
"I feel shocked": Subway shooting survivor says he was sitting next to suspect on train before being shot
"I feel shocked, I feel shaky, I don't know if I can ever ride a train," Benkada, a lifelong New Yorker, told CNN after coming out of surgery.
Benkada, a housekeeping manager at the New Yorker Hotel, said he got on the last car of the N train and sat next to a man with a duffle bag who was wearing an MTA vest.
The man sitting next to him let off a "smoke bomb" and started shooting about 20 seconds after the train took off, Benkada said. The shooting felt like it lasted for nearly two minutes, Benkada continued.
Benkada said he was focused on helping a pregnant woman, who he feared would get hurt as people rushed to the front of the car to avoid the shooter.
That's when he got shot, describing it as "the worst pain of my entire life."
He explained that the bullet hit him in the back of his knee and came out the other side. Doctors told him the bullet grazed his kneecap. He is expected to walk on his own after several weeks on crutches.
Benkada said he heard other people in pain but was unable to see them or the suspect because of the smoke.
6:03 p.m. ET, April 12, 2022
NYPD's bomb squad responding to location of found U-Haul in Brooklyn, source tells CNN
From CNN's Mark Morales, Shimon Prokupecz and Pervaiz Shallwani
The New York Police Department’s bomb squad is responding to the Brooklyn scene where the U-Haul “connected with” this morning's subway shooting was found, a law enforcement source tells CNN.
CNN reported earlier today that investigators in New York City were looking for a U-Haul that was allegedly connected to the subway shooting, according to internal NYPD emails viewed by CNN. The emails did not spell how the van was connected to the shooting.
Investigators also identified the suspect after finding a credit card at the scene that was used to rent the U-Haul cargo van, sources say.