Multiple people were shot on the platform of a Brooklyn subway station during the Tuesday morning rush, officials said, a violent episode that came amid fears about public safety as New York City struggles to recover from the pandemic.
The Fire Department said that 13 people were injured, several by gunfire. A law enforcement official said that five people were shot, and that the police were seeking a man with a gas mask and an orange construction vest.
Police and fire officials said that investigators were trying to determine the source of a smoke condition in the subway station and whether any explosive devices were detonated during the incident. A Police Department spokesman said that no active explosive devices had been found at the scene.
Police officers were called to the 36th Street subway station, where the D, N and R lines pass through the Sunset Park neighborhood, around 8:30 am, the Police Department said. They had also received reports of smoke inside the station.
Transit officials said that trains on the D, N and R lines would be delayed because of an investigation. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the city’s subway, said no additional details were immediately available.
Several schools near the scene of the shooting were put under “shelter in place,” — in which schools close their doors and prevent outside visitors, according to a spokesman for the Education Department. A shelter in place means a school closes its doors, outside visitors are not allowed and there is a heightened state of readiness.
Shootings in New York City have risen this year, and the uptick in violent gun crime has been a central focus for Mayor Eric Adams since he took office in January. Through April 3, shooting incidents rose to 296 from 260 during the same period last year, according to Police Department statistics.
The increase comes after gun violence hit historic lows in 2018 and 2019, and the city still remains safer than in previous years. But as New Yorkers emerged from the shutdowns that marked the start of the pandemic, many found the city more dangerous than it was when the pandemic swept across New York in the spring of 2020.
Mr. Adams, a former police officer, has sought to reassure residents and has made tackling gun crime a central focus of his administration. He recently deployed seven new anti-gun police units, and last month, the Police Department began to enforce so-called quality-of-life matters, recalling the city’s embrace of “broken windows” policing — the stricter enforcement of low-level offenses in an effort to prevent more serious crimes.
The mayor has taken a similar approach in the subway system, where transit leaders had for months before his tenure been seeking more help in policing trains and stations.
Jonah E Bromwich contributed reporting.