By Catholic News Service
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Brooklyn Bishop Robert J. Brennan urged prayers April 12 for victims of an early morning shooting spree at a Brooklyn subway station and for the protection of first responders on the scene and those hunting for the shooter.
“On this Tuesday of Holy Week, our city has suffered a terrible attack on New Yorkers just trying to commute,” the bishop said in a statement. “Let us fervently pray for the multiple people shot and injured in a Sunset Park subway station.”
“Lord, help the healing hands take care of the victims and protect the law enforcement officers trying to locate the suspect in this shooting,” Bishop Brennan said. “We are grateful for their courage and service to protect us. And please, Lord, keep us all safe in your embrace.”
Reuters, CNN and other news outlets reported that during the morning rush hour, a man wearing a gas mask released a canister of smoke and opened fire into a train and on the station platform at a subway stop in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
At least 10 people were injured by gunfire; five were reported later to be in stable, but critical condition. Another six people were treated for smoke inhalation or injuries they suffered from bullet shrapnel or in the crush of people in a panic to flee the car as it filled up with smoke.
“Outside the station, in an area known for its thriving Chinatown and views of the Statue of Liberty,” Reuters reported, “authorities shut down a dozen or so blocks and closed off the immediate area with yellow crime scene tape.”
Law enforcement officials, both local and federal officers, arrived on the scene quickly, with many outfitted in heavy-duty armor and helmets.
By late afternoon, the shooter had not been apprehended, but a massive manhunt was underway. The suspect was described as a Black male with a heavy build who was wearing a green construction-type vest and a hooded sweatshirt.
Authorities did not speculate on the motive.
Some news outlets said the search for the perpetrator could be hindered because there was no surveillance camera footage of the shooting spree because the cameras were not working.
However, representatives of the New York Police Department and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the city’s subways and buses, said the agencies were not aware the cameras were not working.