New York subway shooting: 23 injured including 10 who were shot, no life-threatening injuries reported

April 12, 2022
The suspect, Frank James, of the April 12 attack that occurred on the N Train just before the 36th St. Station has been taken into custody.

A morning attack on a New York City Transit (NYCT) N Train has left 23 people injured, 10 of those with gunshot wounds, none with life-threatening injuries according to the New York City Police Department. 

During a noon briefing, New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell shared details of the morning’s events and explained it is not being investigated as an act of terrorism and there are no known explosive devices.

At around 8:24 a.m. Eastern, a man wearing a orange-green construction type vest, green construction hat and a gray hooded sweatshirt put on what was described as a gas mask and detonated two smoke grenades, which filled the train car with smoke and opened fire as the train was pulling into the 36th St. Station in Sunset Park. 

During an evening briefing on April 12, authorities named Frank James as a person of interest. A key to a U-Haul van was found in the shooter's possessions at the scene and that van was rented by James. James was taken into custody on April 13. 

Anyone with information on the incident or James is directed to call NYPD Tips at 800-577-TIPS. 

NYCT suspended B and W Line service and partially suspended D, N and R Line service due to the incident. Following a wrap of the investigation at the 36th St. Station, trains had returned to service as of Wednesday morning. 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul both offered praises to the MTA employees who ushered customers off the N Line train where the shooting occurred and onto an R Line train on the opposite side of the 36th St. Station platform to evacuate the station. A video posted on Twitter shows about one minute passed from the time the N train doors open at 36th St. Station to when MTA crews can be heard directing people onto the R train.

There is a $50,000 award offered, which is being supported with $25,000 from the New York City Police Foundation (through CrimeStoppers) and $12,500 each from MTA and TWU Local 100. 

“We are doing everything we can to catch the man responsible for this heinous attack on our riders,” said Lieber. “New Yorkers know that if they see something, they should say something, especially in this case. Justice must be served.”

“This cold-blooded criminal must be identified and taken off the streets right away. He must be brought to justice for this horrific act of violence,” said TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano. “Riders need to feel safe. My members need to feel safe. We don’t just dip in and out of the system. We spend entire shifts down there every day and night. This guy has to be apprehended.”

Reactions from the transit industry

Metro Transit Police sent a tweet this morning noting the department is “horrified” by the morning’s event and that it would monitor security of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority system with heightened awareness, but noted there were no active threats.

Toronto Transit Commission CEO Rick Leary said, "We are all shocked and saddened by the images of this morning’s horrendous attack on commuters in New York’s subway system. My thoughts, and those of the entire organization, are with the people of New York and our colleagues at the MTA as they deal with the aftermath of this senseless violence. As always, the safety of our customers and employees is my paramount concern."

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) issued a statement sending condolences to MTA and the people impacted by the “horrific act of violence.”

“Public transit is essential to millions of people in New York City and around the country and this attack is a devastating violation of the everyday spaces we all inhabit,” MARTA’s statement read.

The authority explained there were no credible threats against the agency, but said MARTA Police Department placed additional patrols on trains and in stations as a precaution.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), which went through its own tragedy with an on-site mass shooting in May 2021, stepped up transit patrol visibility on its light-rail system, on board trains and in stations. Santa Clara VTA explained the increase in patrols was not in response to a threat but to ensure the riding public felt safe aboard its light-rail system.

In a thread posted on Twitter, American Public Transportation Association President and CEO Paul Skoutelas said, "The horrific actions this morning at the 36th Street/4th Avenue subway station in New York City are a violation of the rights of all Americans to live their lives peacefully. We abhor these acts of violence that we have seen all too often in our communities. We commend the quick actions of the riders [and] employees who rendered immediate aid to those injured along with the state of New York, the city of New York, the [MTA and] their myriad partners who responded quickly to the call [and] their actions to bring those responsible to justice."

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Story updated 6:48 p.m. Central to incorporate details from NYPD briefing during the evening of April 12. 

Story updated 8:20 a.m. Central on April 13 to include information confirming suspect's identity. 

Story updated 2:40 p.m. Central on April 13 to include information that suspect was taken into custody.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.