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Police say suspect is in custody after apparently random shooting killed NYC subway passenger

NYC subway shooting suspect in custody
NYC subway shooting suspect in custody 00:21

The New York Police Department said it took the man suspected in Sunday's fatal shooting of a subway train passenger into custody on Tuesday afternoon. The shooting left a 48-year-old man dead in what officials described as an unprovoked attack.

The suspect was identified as 25-year-old Brooklyn resident Andrew Abdullah.

Subway Shooting
Andrew Abdullah, 25, is escorted into the Fifth precinct, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in New York.  Mary Altaffer / AP

The Legal Aid Society, which is representing Abdullah, released a statement after his arrest, saying Abdullah was planning to turn himself in to authorities before he "was needlessly ambushed out front of our Manhattan Trial Office by City Marshalls, denied of his opportunity to first consult with counsel." The organization called the manner of his arrest "inappropriate and unwarranted."

During a Tuesday press conference, authorities said they had given the suspect time to turn himself in, but officers found him on the street near his lawyer's office and took him into custody.

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Abdullah's arrest history dates back to 2016, and he has faced charges including felony assault, robbery and attempted murder. Authorities said he was most recently arrested in April on a grand larceny order for allegedly stealing a Lexus, and his court date was scheduled for June 14. He was also wanted for a "strong armed robbery" in Manhattan in February.

"The violence on the Q train last Sunday morning was committed by another repeat offender who was given every leeway by the criminal justice system," Sewell said. "We cannot and will not stand for it."

Abdullah was named as a person of interest in the case earlier Tuesday.

The shooting happened on a Q train as it traveled over the Manhattan Bridge at around 11:40 a.m. Sunday, a time of day when subway cars are often filled with families, tourists and people headed to brunch.

According to authorities, the suspect was pacing back and forth and mumbling to himself on the last car of the train. Witnesses could only distinguish "no phones" among his mumblings. He then suddenly walked up to the victim and shot him once in the chest, police said.

A single 9mm shell casing was recovered at the scene, police said.

The 48-year-old victim, Daniel Enriquez of Brooklyn, died at a hospital.

He was an employee of the investment bank Goldman Sachs, whose chairman and CEO, David Solomon, said in a statement to CBS News that Enriquez "was a dedicated and beloved member of the Goldman Sachs family for nine years. He worked diligently to support our Macro Research team in New York and epitomized our culture of collaboration and excellence. We are devastated by this senseless tragedy and our deepest sympathies are with Dan's family at this difficult time."

The shooter fled after the train arrived at the Canal Street station in Manhattan. As he ran up the subway station's stairs, he handed the gun to a homeless man, police said. The two did not know each other, the homeless man told authorities. Upon investigation, police learned the gun had been reported stolen in Hampton, Virginia, in November 2019.

Police reviewed security video to try to identify the suspect, and released images from the footage on Monday.

Police released images of the suspect in the shooting death of a New York City subway passenger on May 22, 2022. NYPD

The shooting came at a time when New Yorkers' faith in the safety of the subway system has been rattled.

Last month, a man opened fire inside a Brooklyn subway train, scattering random shots that wounded 10 people. The person charged in that attack, Frank James, had posted dozens of online videos ranting about race, violence and his struggles with mental illness.

In January, a man suffering from schizophrenia fatally shoved a woman in front of a subway train. He was later found mentally unfit to stand trial.

"I feel unsafe. I kind of want to get in an Uber right now. That's really messed up," River Anton of Long Island City told CBS New York.

"The violence just seems to be random. It's very nerve wracking. It doesn't seem like anyone is doing anything to stop it," Symone Wilson of Manhattan told the station.

"It seems like the police presence is focused on keeping people from hopping the rails rather than keeping people safe," added Madison Dickson of Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Charlton D'Souza is president of advocacy group Passengers United.

"I've been pleading with the MTA and elected officials, please, put cameras in the subway cars," D'Souza remarked to CBS New York. "We need to make New Yorkers feel confident that they can ride the trains, they can get safely from point A to point B."

Since taking office Jan. 1, Democratic Mayor Eric Adams has made cracking down on violent crime a chief focus of his administration.

The former New York City police captain rode the subway to City Hall on his first day as mayor. He later said he didn't feel safe on the train after encountering a yelling passenger and several homeless people, and said the city needs to tackle "actual crime" and "the perception of crime."

Most of the violence the city has experienced in recent months hasn't been in the subways but in neighborhoods, particularly in communities of color. But attacks on the subway, a vital network millions of New Yorkers rely upon, loom large in public perceptions of safety.

MTA chair and CEO John Lieber spoke about rider safety during Tuesday afternoon's press conference.

"Over time, I believe that we will help with the mayor and the police commissioner's strategy to restore riders sense of safety which has been so harmed, so eroded by this terrible incident, and to restore confidence in the mass transit system," he said.

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