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FDNY: Manuhunt Undeway for NYC Subway Shooter. 13 Injured and 5 Dead After Brooklyn Shooter. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired April 12, 2022 - 11:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Kate Bolduan. We do continue to follow this breaking news out of New York. We're going to show you live pictures of this massive scene that we've been watching now for 2.5 hours, where police say at least five people were shot; 13 people were injured in a subway station in Brooklyn.

All of this happening during the morning rush hour. We have video from people on the train, as the chaos unfolded and commuters were scrambling to try to find safety. You can see blood on the floor of the subway station. And also you can see some of the injured on the subway station.

This is some of the new video we've gotten in from inside the train. There is a manhunt underway for the gunman, who witnesses say was wearing an orange construction vest and also wearing a gas mask.

We're expecting to hear from New York City officials very soon. We'll bring that to you, of course, when that happens. Let's begin the breaking news coverage with CNN's Brynn Gingras. She's live at the scene in Brooklyn. Brynn?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, listen, sorry, Kate, we have an FDNY truck, kind of getting out of the way here, so it's a chaotic scene. But as you mentioned, we wait for the news conference to happen within the half hour or so from the NYPD. We expect to be there.

Of course, the FBI, we mentioned here on the scene with the ATF, a lot of federal officials. What we know right now is that at least five people were shot, possibly one critically.

And we know that at least 13 people were brought to area hospitals. And if you've been watching us in the last hour, you saw and heard from one of those eyewitnesses, talking about the chaos that was underground when this incident happened.

Authorities believe some sort of smoke-like device was set off before shooting happened -- sorry, a little bit chaotic -- before the shooting happened here on the train in New York City. Of course, the sequence of events of what happened still yet to be determined. We're waiting to get information from law enforcement.

But again, chaotic scene. It can't be understated that the perpetrator of this, who authorities initially said possibly wearing some sort of orange construction vest and a gas mask at the time of this incident, still on the loose.

This is a massive manhunt right now in New York City. This happening at the time of the morning commute. So a lot of eyewitnesses, a lot of video, a lot of investigation that still needs to be underway.

So again, a little bit chaotic right now because we're getting ready for that news conference to begin, to hopefully get more information. But so important to point out, that the suspect, this perpetrator, at least this one person is still on the loose. And that's a big part of this investigation.

Where is that person right now?

BOLDUAN: That's the huge question hanging over obviously. When New York City officials do come to give this press conference, that's going to be very important to hear.

As Brynn is reporting, new information out but still a lot of questions about the sequence of events, who exactly they're looking for and what more they know about so far in this investigation. Federal law enforcement are also involved and on the scene in Brooklyn and this is being closely monitored now from Washington as well.

CNN's Evan Perez is live at the Justice Department.

What are you hearing?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SR. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: At this point, they have more questions than answers now of what exactly went down. We know obviously because of this incident and where it occurred, on a subway in New York City, that it has gotten the attention of all the top officials here.

We know that the attorney general and the Homeland Security secretary said they've been -- they're getting briefed, the FBI is at the scene with the ATF. And now the question is, how to find whoever carried this out.

It appears, from what the reporting that Brynn and some of the team in New York are getting, is that this person possibly set off this smoke grenade to obscure them fleeing the scene.

So the question is, how did they get out?

The scene there is very well covered with surveillance cameras. Perhaps that is a bit obscured by the smoke.

But we know that that is exactly what the NYPD and the FBI is looking for right now, to try to figure out where this person went, what direction they fled and then to essentially carry out a manhunt across the area to find the person who carried this out. It always obviously raises the possibility of terrorism. We don't know

yet what the cause of this, Kate, and that's one of the big questions for officials here in Washington, is what are we dealing with.


PEREZ: Is it a terrorist attack?

Is it something that's more localized in New York, given the fact that obviously we know that there is a lot of gun violence in New York and cities around the country? Kate.

BOLDUAN: Evan, thank you so much.

We'll get back to Evan as he talks with his sources as well. President Biden has been briefed on the subway attack in New York. Let's go to the White House. John Harwood standing by with more on this.

What are you hearing from there?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This had been a day when President Biden hoped to call attention to his efforts to tame inflation, tame gas prices, of course, unfavorable government report on inflation today.

He's about, in a few minutes, to leave the White House here and fly to Iowa to suspend a regulation related to ethanol, trying to bring gas prices down. But that's been completely overtaken by the news from New York City.

We got a tweet from Jen Psaki a few minutes ago, saying, "POTUS has been briefed on the latest developments regarding the New York City subway shooting. White House senior staff are in touch with Mayor Adams and police commissioner Sewell to offer any assistance as needed.

"We have not heard from the president directly but I'd be surprised if we don't hear from him as he leaves the White House in a few minutes to head to Iowa."

Of course, a consistent theme from President Biden and fellow Democrats has been steps by Congress to curb gun violence. He announced some regulatory steps earlier in the week.

We will see what he has to say about that and also whether he has any information that would shed more light on the question that you've been raising and our colleagues have been raising.

Was this an act of terrorism or was it something else, Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, John. We'll stay close to you as well.

John Harwood standing by at the White House for us.

Live pictures of these two cameras from the sky and from the ground of the scene in Brooklyn. Now bring in right now senior law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey, of course, the former Philadelphia police commissioner and former D.C. police chief.

And CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent.

So, Chief, 2.5 hours since this happened.

What are you seeing right now, what are you thinking about this at this point?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, it was a lot of good information that's coming in, the last witness interviewed on the previous show, hopefully has been briefed by the NYPD.

And just let me say anyone who witnesses anything, be sure to contact the police. It's important to provide that information.

But 2.5 hours now, (INAUDIBLE) a lot of good information. There's a lot of speculation and a lot of things we don't know but (INAUDIBLE) one thing right now. The NYPD, as well as FBI and all those (INAUDIBLE) a lot more than we do. And we'll hear some of that in the press conference that's coming up.

They'll put out as much as they can without jeopardizing the investigation. But the fact that something has happened since that is a good indication that this is going to be an isolated incident. We still don't know (INAUDIBLE). or anything like that but it is good to know (INAUDIBLE) just the isolated incident and not part of some planned attack.

BOLDUAN: That's a good point, Chief.

Jonathan, what are you thinking, what are the questions you have as this press conference will be beginning soon?

What are your questions right now?


Who was this individual?

Where is the individual right now?

I want to know, what were the precipitating actions?

What was this person doing on the subway beforehand?

Was there any specific catalyst that caused this event?

But I think you know, just looking at these images, Kate, I think it's really important for the viewer to understand, you know, we're seeing a multi-jurisdictional response to this incident in New York.

And this is something that first responders, both the NYPD, their other local counterparts as well as federal law enforcement, has trained for time and time again in New York. So while the viewer may see a lot of people standing around, it may

seem a little chaotic, this is a very coordinated response led by the NYPD. It follows an incident structure.

And I'm sure during the press conference coming up, we're going to hear from the public information officers exactly what every single responding jurisdiction is doing, what their goals and responsibilities are; one, to mitigate what the initial incident, mitigate that incident but also what are they doing to find this suspect or suspects that, you know, currently remain at large.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

And Chief, I mean, there is a pretty extensive system of cameras throughout New York City.

How important is that going to be right now, what do they need from them?


RAMSEY: I don't know if there's cameras on the train or not. But cameras on the various trains will start going back to see, where did that person get on the train?

Where did they get off?

Where did they go after they got off?

They'll kind of piece together through video the actions and movement of the individual, both before and after the attacks. So the cameras are invaluable. (INAUDIBLE) save a lot of investigative time that normally would have been very difficult to piece all that together without the cameras.

BOLDUAN: Jonathan, they are looking for a man in an orange construction vest. Witnesses say they believe he was wearing a gas mask as well. I've ventured to guess he's no longer wearing either of those things.

So how does that work in a place like New York City?

WACKROW: That individual, where it may seem harmless to wear a big orange vest and having a mask, these days, you see, this was occurring during commuting hours. So you have a lot of people in the construction industry wearing the same clothes.

We don't know about the gas mask but we're in the middle of COVID. It could have been a respirator mask. So there's a lot of unknowns here but to Commissioner Ramsey's point, there's a lot of video evidence, especially coming in and out of the transit system and then throughout New York City.

So NYPD detectives and their law enforcement partners right now are trying to piece together, identify that suspect on video and then trace their movement to try to track that person down. We also have witnesses that, their statements are going to be critical

to locating this individual and identifying who they are and potential ballistic information, where you see the ATF working with the NYPD to try to figure out.

Again, that's another part of, piece of evidence that is going to be put together very rapidly to try to identify who this individual was and what was the motive.

Was this an act of terror or something else?

BOLDUAN: You're talking about eyewitness accounts and them being able to help identify or give a better description.

You know, Chief, we heard last hour one eyewitness, who was on board the train when the shooting happened. And the smoke filled this -- at least one train car. He said he didn't actually see. He said he couldn't see anything because of the smoke.

What do you think of just that fact we're hearing from this eyewitness?

RAMSEY: Well, he's not going to be the only one to say something like that. You have to remember, when these things happen (INAUDIBLE) very unexpected. There's a lot of chaos. You don't really know what you're seeing or what's (INAUDIBLE).

And that's why it's important that a trained investigator actually have a chance to interview all the people who were on that (INAUDIBLE) car number 3, whatever. So if they were there, they need to contact them because they need to be able to pull information out of them.

But eyewitnesses can sometimes provide inaccurate information. That's why video is going to be so critical in trying to put this together.

The victims, people actually (INAUDIBLE) provide even more information than people who were just passengers on the trains. They were, I don't know, some of them may have been a lot closer to the shooter than other individuals and could see more of the smoke that was actually released, perhaps. Or they might even know the person.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. You can just imagine the chaos in that train car and then, once those doors open onto the station, you can just imagine what they were going through.

Guys, stick with me please. I want to get back to Brynn Gingras on the scene.

We're waiting for this press conference, Brynn.

What are you hearing about how soon it's going to become coming?

GINGRAS: It should be momentarily. We're hearing the governor is likely on the scene as well. So there's going to be a number of people, I think, gathering together, to get to this press conference and get the information that (INAUDIBLE) about right now. I know you've been talking about it, Kate, but this suspect is still

on the loose. I've been talking to a few sources here on the ground. I know they're sharing a description to the best of their knowledge with each other. That's going out within the law enforcement agencies to try to find this perpetrator because, again, that is the main thing right now, is locating that person.

So much information still needs to be pieced together. That's what we're hoping to get from this news conference, when did this start as far as what train station, when did it end, exactly how many people are we talking about as victims here, how serious are the injuries, exactly what happened on that train.

Of course, you heard from that eyewitness.


GINGRAS: I've also been hearing from sources as you mentioned, one of your analysts, video is big here. They are just combing this area and around the area, a very big radius, looking for video of where the perpetrator is possibly headed to in efforts to locate him.

So right now, we are just seeing a lot of people get together here, the podium behind us, to get this press conference on board. But there's a lot of agencies we expect to hear from momentarily.

BOLDUAN: All right, Brynn, we'll get right back to you.

Joining me on the phone right now is former NYPD commissioner, Bill Bratton.

Commissioner, thank you so much for calling in.

What do you think of all this?

What are you hearing?

BILL BRATTON, FORMER NYPD COMMISSIONER: Well, it's getting a little clearer as to what transpired this morning versus the preliminary reports. It appears that an N train pulling into 34th Street Station in Brooklyn, that something occurred on that train that involved a smoke device as well as a shooting.

The latest reporting that I've heard is that there were eight people injured, possibly shot. That's down from 14 a while ago. As you might -- or as you are reporting, there's a massive coordinated investigation underway.

Authorities are attempting to put together the press conference to give preliminary information, what they know, who they might be looking for. So we're all waiting to see what they're going to put out for preliminary information.

But the impact on the city today and going forward is going to be enormous. Confusion on the trains today, certainly. But fear at the subway is going to be expanded exponentially. There was already a great deal of fear about riding the subways with a

68 percent rise in crime. But this is going to make the difficulty of getting people back on those subways even more difficult.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. I mean, one of the big questions, as you said, the number of people injured and shot. We'll hear a more definitive number from police, from the commissioner and from all the officials when they come out for this press conference.

But can you also just take us inside?

You talked about the massive coordinated response. We see just the mass of law enforcement on the scene. I saw some video of what looked like officials heading back into the subway, into the subway station. Take me inside.

What is the police commissioner doing right now?

BRATTON: Right now, she is working with her leadership team. The NYPD is an extraordinary department, no better department prepared for an event like this, the complexity of an event like this, with the massive resources but also there's (INAUDIBLE) by the ongoing collaborative relationships they have with a lot of the city agencies, fire, emergency services.

But as importantly, in this incident, so they determine if it's a crime or a terrorist act, coordinate with the FBI, ATF, joint terrorism task force. Right now, the NYPD is the lead agency because it's being treated as a crime until they determine whether it's an act of terrorism or not.

So the police commissioner is getting briefed. She will look at the scene itself. And so when she gets on the press conference, the mayor, as we know, is in isolation due to COVID-19, she will attempt to calm fears by putting out as much factual information as they have at the moment.

Hopefully, they might have information on a potential suspect or suspects who they're looking for and will ask the public to see something, say something.

And it's multiple initiatives underway: scanning of social media, was there a threat prior to this event?

Are there individuals that they may have had concern with, who could have engaged in this type of activity?

Phenomenal number of witnesses, which adds both to the complexity of the investigation but the confusion. People seeing different things, that really, when you hear the report that the suspect may have been wearing the MTA uniform, we heard it might be a construction uniform, he might have been wearing a gas mask.

So that's just an example of the confusion that these types of events create in the initial stages. So the best thing at this point in time is to wait for the officials to do their press conference, so we've got confirmation on what is known at this time as this massive investigation goes forward.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Commissioner, if you could, stick with us. We just learned that the press conference will be taking place in just about 10 minutes. We're going to take a quick break to get some more information coming in. We'll continue our conversation, we'll continue our breaking news coverage of the attack on the subway in Brooklyn next.





BOLDUAN: We continue to follow breaking news out of Brooklyn in New York City. We're going to show you, this is the live scene, a massive scene. Police say at least five people were shot and, in all, at least 13 people hurt at the subway station in Brooklyn.

Some video shows you the chaotic scene inside the station, inside the train car, smoke filling the train car that one eyewitness said happened as shots rang out.

There's a manhunt underway for the gunman, who witnesses say was seen wearing an orange construction vest and a gas mask. We expect to hear from city officials in just minutes. We will bring that to you live. There's a ton of questions as this investigation is getting underway. Let's get to the scene with Brynn Gingras in Brooklyn.

Brynn, what's the very latest?

GINGRAS: Yes, (INAUDIBLE) so much press here that the NYPD press office is really jut trying to figure out how to coordinate this press conference right now because of this massive presence. (INAUDIBLE) the press but also law enforcement officials here on the scene.

But yes, there's a number of agencies we're expecting to hear from once we get this news conference underway.


GINGRAS: So the ATF possibly, the FBI of course and --


GINGRAS: -- and --


GINGRAS: -- a number of agencies we expect to hear from. Hopefully get an update about the sequence of events of exactly what happened --


BOLDUAN: Hey, Brynn, real quick, it's really loud around you.

Can you just get the mike any closer to your mouth?


GINGRAS: -- possibly see me, too, here. Sorry.


GINGRAS: So as soon as we start this press conference, we're expected to hear from a number of --


GINGRAS: -- a number of agents -- Kate, let me send it back to you, I'm sorry.

BOLDUAN: Let's do that. Let's do that. There's clearly what happens quite often, just to let everyone know, is as they set up for these press conferences, in any investigation where there's a lot of reporters on the ground, it's a very busy scene.

But they're trying to set it up quickly and safely and they're moving all the journalists to a different location and Brynn's in the thick of it. We'll get back to the press conference underway very shortly.

Back with me, Chief Charles Ramsey as well as Jonathan Wackrow.

Chief, talk to me, since we see the chaos on the scene. Bill Bratton was talking about how big and complicated this investigation is now.

Can you talk us through why that is?

RAMSEY: First of all, he's been through this twice. So he certainly understands and knows the complexity of it.

But New York is such a large city. The transit system is so large. It is the target for terrorism, obviously. So anything that happens in New York, there's a heightened sense of urgency to find out what is taking place, who might be responsible, if it's connected to something else.

You have a lot of these federal agencies right there in the city of New York. And they're (INAUDIBLE) something that they practice. It may look chaotic but actually it's (INAUDIBLE) people are actually involved. They (INAUDIBLE). They know who's responsible for what.

They're just trying to get the message (INAUDIBLE) to a point where they can provide as much as information as possible without actually jeopardizing anything at all.

So this is a massive case and it will take time to get everything coordinated. Don't think for a minute they're like (INAUDIBLE) lots going on internally. (INAUDIBLE) about what's going on, (INAUDIBLE), I'm sure. And I wouldn't even be surprised if they actually identified somebody at this point. I'm not saying they have. I'm just saying I wouldn't (INAUDIBLE) because we've got the very best

in the world working on this case. (INAUDIBLE).

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

Commissioner Bill Bratton is back with us as well.

We know, Commissioner, that President Biden has been briefed, that the DHS and attorney general have also been briefed.

We don't know but if this turns out to be terrorism, how does that change this entire situation?

BRATTON: It changes the (INAUDIBLE) investigation in a very significant way because the FBI then comes in to take over the investigation, assisted then by the NYPD.

At the moment, because it's being treated as a crime scene with the lack of information about the motive, the NYPD is the lead entity.

Good news, however, is because they train and collaborate constantly, (INAUDIBLE) the FBI and the other federal agencies, that whoever is leading it is assisted by a strong collaborative effort with every other agency.

So at the moment, the comfort level should be that the best investigators, forces in the U.S. are working on this one. Previous person you were talking, talked about it. It looks like chaos at the scene.

But a lot of that is in fact controlled chaos in the sense that responding police ,firefighters, federal agents know how to deal with these unfolding situations. And there's no place they can do it better than New York because of the resources they have.

The press conference, I understand, will be held at 11:45. There we'll get preliminary information that will be factual in terms of what they know at the moment. My information is the latest count of injured is eight people that were shot during this event.

There are other people being treated for trauma and injuries as they were fleeing that train. So some of the details may change in 15 minutes when they do the news conference.

But this is an unfolding story. Compounding this is the ongoing (INAUDIBLE) New York has been having getting control of its crime, the subway crime situation, trying to get people back to work in New York City.