Manhunt under way for gunman in NYC subway shooting that injured at least 20

Police and federal agents searched into the early hours of Wednesday for a man who set off smoke bombs and sprayed fellow passengers with gunfire aboard a New York City subway car, injuring more than 20 people before he fled the scene.

The attack erupted during the Tuesday morning commuter rush as the Manhattan-bound “N Line” train was pulling into an underground station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighbourhood, the latest burst of seemingly random violence that has plagued the city’s transit system in recent years.

A photo of the van that police say is connected with the shooting at a subway station as law enforcement officers conduct an investigation in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, US, April 12, 2022. (Reuters)

Police said 10 people were struck directly by gunfire, five of them hospitalised in critical but stable condition, while 13 others suffered respiratory distress or were otherwise injured in the crush of frantic riders fleeing the smoke-filled subway car. Some injured passengers collapsed as they poured onto the platform of the 36th Street station.

All of the victims were expected to survive their injuries, police said in an evening news conference, in which authorities also offered rewards totalling $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect they believed acted alone.

The manhunt initially centred around a U-Haul van found hours afterwards parked on a Brooklyn street, and on a “person of interest” identified by police as Frank James, who was believed to have rented the vehicle in Philadelphia. Police said they recovered the key to the van at the crime scene, and that James had addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin.

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