Investigators said they were looking for Frank James and posted a picture of the man, asking the public to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers with any information about his current whereabouts.
An armed man wearing a gas mask, detonated a smoke tank and opened fire on the New York subway Tuesday morning, shooting at 10 people and causing panic during rush hour travel. The suspect fired 33 times, according to police.
29 victims went to hospitals in Brooklyn with various injuries. Five people were fatally injured and have since stabilized, according to a firefighter.
Police described the gunman, who is still on the run, as an “active shooter.” The bloodshed comes against the backdrop of rising crime in New York’s transportation system.
The shooting, reported just before 8:30 a.m. local time, broke out in a subway N to Manhattan as it approached the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, New York Police Commissioner Kitchener Sewell said at a news conference.
According to a police source, the suspect was seen mumbling before wearing the gas mask, releasing a smoke tank usually bought online and opening fire with a 380 caliber pistol.
The gun got stuck during the incident, according to a police source.
Investigators found the gun, three expanded warehouses, an ax, gasoline, four smoke grenades and a bag of fireworks for the consumer, according to police. The gun was not stolen, police said.
A credit card was also found at the scene and investigators said the card was used to rent a U-Haul, according to a police source. The car keys were also found in the shooter’s possession, according to police.
Investigators located the vehicle in Gravesend, Brooklyn, on Tuesday afternoon, about five miles southeast of the subway station and investigated to determine if he had any connection to the suspect, according to police.
Police later said James rented the van in Philadelphia. There is a $ 50,000 reward for information leading to his place of residence.
New York police said they are still compiling clues about the shooter suspect.
“At this point, we still do not know what the motive of the suspect is. It is clear that this person got on the train and there was an intent to commit violence,” Police Commissioner Kitchener Sewell said at a news conference in the evening.
New York Mayor Eric Adams told the New York WABC station that police are working to obtain as much evidence and clues from the vehicle as possible.
“We want to make sure all the evidence gathered will help us catch this person. We have to make sure we have the right protection so we can convict this person due,” he said.
There were no working cameras at 36th Street Station, according to a police source. The cameras, aimed at the turnstiles, did not broadcast in real time due to a computer malfunction, a source said. The same malfunction hit cameras at stations before and after 36th Street.
Investigators are investigating how this malfunction occurred.
But police were able to obtain a photo of the suspect from a passerby’s cell phone video, law enforcement told ABC News.
Twelve Montano, 24, was on the train when he said the entire car was filled with smoke.
“It was hard to breathe, it was hard to see. It was hard to hear or notice what was happening with the chaos that was happening,” he said.
“I did not see anything because the smoke on the train was so thick. I could not even see in the middle the length of the train car,” he added.
“After the smoke went up, there was a bunch of ringtones, which I initially thought were firecrackers,” he continued. “I bent down behind a chair to protect myself.”
From a bent position on the floor, Montano said, “I saw a lot of blood on the floor. Too much blood.”
Montano said the doors opened at 36th Street about three to four minutes later. “Once the doors opened, everyone started pouring out and running,” he recalled.
A number of smoke appliances and a bag of commercial-grade fireworks were found, according to law enforcement.
Sewell said there are no known explosives on the subway and the motive is still unknown.
After initially saying the shooting was not investigated as an act of terrorism, Sewell later said police “do not rule anything out.”
Sewell described the suspect as a man wearing a green vest and a sweatshirt with a gray hoodie. The suspect has a “heavy physique” and is estimated to be about 5 feet and 5 inches tall, Sewell said.
A man working in Budga off the subway told ABC New York WABC station that 10 to 15 people ran to his store for extra security.
“It was horrible,” he said.
“I saw three or four people with gunshot wounds to their legs. They just fell to the floor before the cops arrived … they just stayed here a few minutes before the beach was clear,” he said. “Everyone was scared. I was scared.”
A senior federal law enforcement source told ABC News authorities concerned about this shooting showed a level of planning and commitment to kill dozens of passengers during rush hour. The source said it was too early to know if the suspect had acted alone.
President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Majorx have been updated on the situation, the White House said.
President Joe Biden said Tuesday afternoon that he “prays for those who were injured and all those who were touched by that trauma.”
“And we’re grateful to all the first responders … including citizens, who did not hesitate to help their traveling companions,” Biden said.
Freelance photographer Derek French, who was on the platform when the incident occurred, told ABC News how he and two other good Samaritans created makeshift arterial blockers out of a jacket and placed them on the wounded.
“When I saw the blood puddle of one of the victims I just went into first aid mode,” French said, noting that he had previously trained with the Red Cross.
“It was not a second thought, but that I should do it,” he said.
The FBI is assisting and ATF officials are on site.
Later that evening, New York Governor Kathy Kochol visited victims who had recovered at Maimonds Hospital
She said one of the victims was an 18-year-old student on the way to school. The student was waiting for surgery, according to the governor.
“He seems to be doing well, and he is in a very good mood, as are his mother and grandmother who are there,” Kochul said.
The governor also said she spoke to the mother of a 16-year-old victim who had just undergone surgery.
“All she has is her son,” she added. “So I gave her a long, long hug and let her know we were sending the love of all New Yorkers.”
Anyone with information, video or photos related to the shooting is asked to call 800-577-TIPS.
Pierre Thomas, Mark Crudel, Miles Cohen and ABC News’ Bar Bar contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022 ABC News Internet Ventures.