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Residents of the Sunset Park neighborhood, home to many immigrant communities, have been left rattled after the bloody Brooklyn shooting on a Manhattan-bound N train at the 36th Street Station around 8 a.m. yesterday, which left at least 23 people injured and 10 shot.
An alarming trend: Documented heard from 12 people who have witnessed violence on the subways in the area or feel increasingly unsafe as rates of violent crimes in the subway have spiked compared to pre-pandemic levels. They also described frustration with the lack of effective law enforcement, despite the NYPD’s enormous budget.
Over 70% of Sunset Park’s residents are Hispanic or Asian, making it one of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York. The Brooklyn shooting has exacerbated their fear when riding the subway.
Jane Zhang, 33, and her husband and three-year-old daughter live just three blocks away from the site of the Brooklyn shooting. “The texts and videos are shocking,” she said.
“Lack of safety is terrible”: A member from our WhatsApp community, who chose to remain anonymous, said in Spanish. “The only time you see officers on the train is when things like these happen. No police…the ones that are there are usually texting. The [lack of public safety] is mortal.” She rides the train with pepper spray.
Mayor Eric Adams said there was a “malfunction with the camera system at that particular station,” which has hampered the search for the shooter, who has been described as a man with heavy build wearing a green construction vest and gray sweatshirt.
“No cameras in that station. Wow,” Xochitl, 30, who lives in Brooklyn, told us. “Many of us use that station. On top of that there have been no arrests made and the culprit was able to escape to the streets.”
Diana, 39, a worker in Sunset Park originally from Colombia, cleans offices late into the night. She said it’s hard to feel safe on the subway. “Just last night a group of people ran into the R train [as another group threatened them] and everyone panicked. When I finish work, sometimes I am scared of riding the train home,” she said.
Delayed transit alerts yesterday, and lack of language access also reportedly had an impact on the safety of immigrant communities.
Investigation continues: Frank James has been named a person of interest in the case. Gov. Kathy Hochul advised New Yorkers to remain on alert, saying, “this is an active shooter situation right now in the City of New York.” Read more details about the premeditated attack here, and live updates here.
Community Correspondents April Xu and Rommel Ojeda contributed reporting. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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