Police in New York City were searching Monday for a gunman who fatally shot a subway rider in an apparently random attack.
The shooting occurred Sunday morning on a Manhattan-bound Q train traveling over the Manhattan Bridge, NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said.
The suspect pulled out a gun after pacing in the last train car, and “without provocation” shot the victim at close range, Corey said at a news conference Sunday.
The suspect fled once the train arrived at the Canal Street station, and police were reviewing surveillance video from the station, Corey said. Police and EMS arrived at the station and the victim was transported to a hospital where he died, he said.
Police later identified the victim as Daniel Enriquez, 48, of Brooklyn. Enriquez’s sister, Griselda Vile, told the New York Times and Post her brother was heading to brunch when the shooting occurred. Enriquez lived in Park Slope and worked at Goldman Sachs, she said, telling the Times he was a “a special, jovial guy.”
Goldman chair and CEO David Solomon said in a statement Enriquez was a dedicated and beloved employee who “epitomized our culture of collaboration and excellence.”
No other injuries occurred during the shooting, and witnesses were working with police, Corey said. The suspect was described as a dark-skinned, heavy-set male with a beard wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, gray sweatpants and white sneakers, Corey said.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell on Monday tweeted a photo of the unidentified man asking for the public’s help in locating him.
After the shooting, a train operator began chest compressions on the victim while the conductor contacted the rail control center to dispatch police and EMS, the transit workers union said. “They deserve the city’s thanks and praise. We’re very proud of them,” TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said in a statement.
The shooting is the latest in a string of high profile attacks this year on the nation’s largest transit system, sparking a sense of unease among its riders.
At least three people have been killed this year in the city’s transit system compared to four as of this time last year, according to police statistics. The number of felony assaults, grand larcenies and robberies has increased, though, and transit crime overall is up 62.5% year to year.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said she was working closely with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and offering assistance to NYPD as they investigate the shooting. “My heart breaks for the victim’s family. Everyone deserves to feel safe on our subways. I’ll keep fighting to make that a reality,” she tweeted.
Mayor Eric Adams on Monday called the shooting “unimaginable.”
“You’re sitting down, going to brunch, going to visit a family member, a person walks up to you and shoots you for no reason,” Adams said. “That is the worst nightmare.”
Despite the increase in transit crime, Adams has encouraged riders to return to the city’s subways while also vowing to make the trains safer.
More than 3 million people take the subway on a given weekday, but ridership has recently been hovering around 60% of its pre-pandemic levels.
Adams, who won office campaigning on a message promoting public safety, released a subway safety plan in February that focused on adding more police officers to patrol trains and enforce its rules as well as preventing people experiencing homelessness from sheltering inside the system. He has also made addressing gun violence a priority in his first term in office.
In January, Michelle Alyssa Go was killed after a man police said was experiencing homelessness and had a history of mental health problems shoved her onto the tracks at the Times Square station.
In April, 10 people were shot and more than a dozen were injured in an attack on a Brooklyn subway car. The shooting, in which no one was killed, sparked a more than daylong search for the gunman who used smoke bombs before opening fire into the car.
Contributing: Associated Press