New York police look for U-haul with Arizona tags, in manhunt for subway assailant

Incident occurred during Tuesday morning commute in subway train car at Brooklyn station

Updated: April 12, 2022 - 4:27pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

New York Police said Tuesday afternoon they're looking for a U-Haul van with Arizona license plates in connection with a morning rush-hour subway attack that injured at least 20 people, include 10 shooting victims.

Authorities released the information after hours of searching for a clue about the suspect escaped. They say the attacked started at about 8:30 a.m when the suspect put on a gas mask and setting off a smoke canister for cover, then started shooting at passengers in his subway car and others at a Brooklyn station.

Police described the at-large suspect as a 5-foot, 5-inch black male weighing roughly 175 pounds.

He was wearing a green vest and gray, hooded sweatshirt.  It's unclear whether the van being sought in connection with the attack was rented in Arizona or New York City.

Authorities were giving police officers a photo they believed to depict the gunman, according to the Associated Press.

It remained unclear as of last Tuesday afternoon whether closed-circuit cameras were working inside the station. 

"It has to end, and it has to end now," Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a press conference about the recent surge in violent crime in the city. She also described the suspect as "dangerous."

The attack occurred in the subway system's 36th Street station for the D, N, and R lines, in Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighhborhood. The train on which the attack occurred was on the N line. 

At 8:24 a.m., the attacker donned what appeared to be gas a mask and opened some kind of canister, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewells said at the presser. The train then filled with smoke, and the attacker opened fire.

She also said the incident is not being investigated as an act of terror.

"We do not know the motive but aren't ruling anything out," Sewells also said. "We're determining what that motive is."

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has COVID-19 and is quarantining. 

Five of the victims are in critical-but-stable position, according to the New York City Fire Department. However, authorities say none of the victims has life-threatening injuries.

Sewell also confirmed there are no known explosive devices on any New York City subway trains, following reports indicating such devices were discovered at the station.

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