NEW YORK — The gunman is still on the loose after Tuesday’s mass shooting terrified commuters on the subway.
Police are searching for Frank James, who Mayor Eric Adams says is now identified as a suspect. The 62-year-old with residences in Wisconsin and Philadelphia was initially considered a person of interest.
Investigators say 10 people were shot, but at least 23 were hurt in the chaos. Sources tell CBS2 it could have been worse, because the gun jammed with bullets still inside, and officers found a bag with an arsenal of other weapons.
While the suspect unloaded 33 shots and smoke bombs, police say not a single victim is described as having life-threatening injuries. Doctors say many treated at local hospitals have already been released.
Meanwhile the NYPD is in hot pursuit, searching far and wide for 62-year-old James. Police say he rented a U-Haul found in Gravesend, Brooklyn that might be connected to the mass shooting.
Investigators believe whoever pulled off the crime was a “lone wolf.”
Police say the suspect got on the train at the Kings Highway Station on Tuesday morning. When the train was stopped in the tunnel between the 59th and 36th Street stations, he attacked — shooting 10 people and injuring 13 more when he allegedly set of smoke bombs, while wearing a gas mask.
It was sheer terror for riders who ran for their lives through the smoke and away from gunfire.
Police say the gunman left behind a bag with a hatchet, two gas canisters and a single automatic handgun that apparently jammed, perhaps saving lives.
Investigators are still trying to figure out a motive, but say James is connected to some concerning social media posts.
“He mentions homelessness. He mentions New York, and he does mention Mayor Adams, and as a result of that, in an abundance of caution, we are going to heighten the mayor’s security detail,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
Video from inside the train showed one rider trying to escape the car with the suspect, but the door between cars was locked.
“Some people were covered in blood on their hands, they had their masks still in their hands,” one resident said.
Other pictures and video showed bloodied victims in the aftermath of the shooting.
“It was the worst pain I ever felt in my life,” survivor Hourari Benkada told CBS2.
Benkada said he was sitting next to the shooter.
“I didn’t get a glimpse of his face. All you see was the smoke, black smoke bombs going off. Then people rushing to the back,” he said. “A pregnant woman was in front of me, I was trying to help her. I didn’t know there was shots at first, I just thought it was a black smoke bomb. She said, ‘I’m pregnant with a baby. ‘ I helped her, then the rush continued, I got pushed, and that’s when I got shot.”
Good Samaritans helped put pressure on wounds and stayed with the injured until help arrived.
The youngest victim was just 12 years old, and a 16-year-old was shot in the hand. gov. Kathy Hochul met with him and his mother.
“Talk about her anxiety, all she has is her son, it’s just the two of them,” the governor said.
She also met with another teenage patient.
“I had the opportunity to meet the 18-year-old patient, young Latino man, who is a student at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. He was on his way to school,” she said.
The attack† Mayor Eric Adams is still in isolation, due to his COVID diagnosis, but said on a virtual announcement he doesn’t rule out introducing new safeguards, including metal detectors.
Anyone with any information about the attack is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips† All calls are kept confidential.
See live updates below for the latest.