During the evening rush hour on Tuesday, a gunman opened fire inside a moving subway car in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, injuring a 17-year-old boy and a man in his 40s. The incident took place just after 5:30 p.m. on a northbound C train as it approached the Ralph Avenue station. The 17-year-old suffered a right-hand injury and was transported to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, while the man was shot in the left ankle and taken to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. Both victims were reported to be in stable condition on Tuesday night.
The relationship between the gunman, who fled the scene, and the victims remains unclear. As of Tuesday night, no arrests had been made, and the police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting, including its motivation.
In response to the incident, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority adjusted the northbound C trains to run express between Broadway Junction and Hoyt-Schermerhorn Streets for approximately two hours as the investigation unfolded.
While New York City experienced a surge in shootings during the Covid-19 pandemic, the overall number of shootings has been decreasing since last year, according to Police Department data. As of November 26, shootings were down around 25 percent compared to the same period in 2022, and the number of shooting victims decreased by about 28 percent.
Despite these improvements, major felonies in New York’s transit system constitute a small fraction of the city’s overall crime, and the likelihood of falling victim to crime in the subway is statistically low. An analysis by The New York Times in October estimated the rate of violent crimes in the subway at approximately 1.8 per one million rides.
While gunfire on the city’s subway and buses is uncommon, the recent shooting highlights concerns about safety. In 2022, the Police Department’s Transit Bureau reported five shootings through November 26, compared to nine during the same period in the previous year. Last year’s incidents, including a fatal shooting on a Q train and a mass shooting on an N train, contributed to public anxiety about subway safety.
Recent events, such as a shooting in Lower Manhattan in January and an incident where a man fired shots at a subway station assailant, have underscored the challenges of addressing the presence of firearms in the city. Richard Davey, the president of New York City Transit, emphasized the urgency of addressing the broader issue of gun violence, acknowledging its impact on the subway environment.