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16 people are injured after New York City subway shooting

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

At least 16 people are injured following a shooting at a subway station in New York City this morning; 5 are in critical condition but stable. The shooting occurred at the station at 36th Street in Sunset Park, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, during the morning rush hour. And the shooter remains at large.

NPR's Jasmine Garsd is at the scene and joins us now. Hi, Jasmine.

JASMINE GARSD, BYLINE: Hi.

CHANG: Hi. OK. It looks like there's a little bit of a delay with us. So what more do we know about what happened this morning?

GARSD: Well, we know that it happened right before 8:30 a.m., which is the peak commute hours. And the gunman, on the N train, as it approached 36th Avenue Station here in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, he donned a gas mask and opened a canister of what released a lot of smoke, confusing people, throwing people into a panic. And then he started shooting on - at the N train and also people on the platform. Earlier today, I spoke to a man here in Sunset Park, Rodrigo Miranda, and he told me what he witnessed.

RODRIGO MIRANDA: (Speaking Spanish).

GARSD: And what he's saying is he dropped his daughter off at school that morning, and he started heading to work in the direction of the N train subway station. And suddenly, people start pouring out in a panic. There is a lot of noise. And the police start rushing in.

CHANG: Right.

GARSD: And as for the rest, I mean, this neighborhood has just gone into lockdown.

CHANG: Well, this alleged gunman - as we said, this person is still at large. What do we know about him so far?

GARSD: It is considered an active shooter situation. The gunman has been described as a Black man, hefty build, around 5 foot 5, and officials are encouraging anyone who saw anything to please provide tips. At the time of the shooting, he was wearing a gray hoodie and one of those construction-style vests. And, yeah, I mean, he's at large, so this is very much an active shooter situation.

CHANG: And while you've had the chance to talk to people in Sunset Park near where all of this happened, what are you hearing from them?

GARSD: Well, this happened during peak commute hours. There were a lot of kids going to school, people going to work, and the neighborhood has kind of, you know, shut down. This is a neighborhood that is largely working class, very Hispanic neighborhood.

I spent most of the day with parents who were waiting for their kids because schools went into lockdown. And that's how I met Rodrigo Miranda, the man we heard from earlier. He was picking up his 7-year-old daughter, Alexandra Miranda, and she described to me the scene inside the school when the shooting happened.

ALEXANDRA: (Speaking Spanish).

GARSD: And what she's saying is that she was told she had to be locked in, and no one would come in or out. Teachers couldn't come in or out because something was happening on the outside. And what Mr. Miranda was telling me is that he's a little bit concerned about how to explain what happened here.

CHANG: I can't even imagine. That is NPR's Jasmine Garsd joining us from Sunset Park in Brooklyn. Thank you so much, Jasmine.

GARSD: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.