A man dressed as a construction worker and wearing a gas mask opened fire on people aboard a subway car in Brooklyn Tuesday. The shooter reportedly set off several smoke bombs before opening fire on passengers. At least 29 people were reportedly wounded.
Witnesses said the man was wearing a neon orange and green construction vest and a helmet. He was reportedly muttering to himself while he was aboard a Manhattan-bound train. The man reportedly put a gas mask on before throwing two smoke grenades.
As the subway car filled with smoke, the man took out a gun, believed to be a 9mm semiautomatic Glock that had extended magazines. He fired 33 rounds randomly at people inside the train, hitting ten people. Those that were wounded included a pregnant woman and several teenagers. Police said at least five of those that were hit are now in critical condition.
The gun reportedly jammed after the man fired the first 33 shots. Police said the malfunction was a "miracle" and may have prevented the deaths of dozens of people. Authorities later found the weapon and three magazines aboard the train.
Investigators believe the suspect may have taken off his costume and blended in with other passengers, and boarded the R train before exiting at the following station on 25th street. However, investigators could not verify their theory due to a "malfunction" with the subway station's cameras. The cameras were reportedly not operating on the platform or turnstiles at the time of the incident.
Police have yet to identify the shooter, but they reportedly have a "person of interest." Police said they are currently looking for a 62-year-old man named Frank James but declined to comment if he was positively identified as the gunman. James has a record of violent behavior and has uploaded threatening videos on YouTube. He reportedly had been treated for mental health issues.
Police said they have evidence to tie James to the incident, including transactions on his credit card for a gas mask and several smoke bombs. James had also rented a U-Haul van with Arizona plates, which was left near Gravesend. Police said James may have used the van to drive to the subway station. Police said they had recovered the keys to the U-Haul van at the scene of the shooting.
Authorities have been looking for James at Manhattan homeless shelters after they discovered that he used his credit card at a Duane Reade on Eight Avenue. Commissioner Keechant Sewell of the New York Police Department said the shooting isn't being investigated as a terrorist incident as none of the victims belonged to a specific ethnic group.