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Exasperated straphangers react to Brooklyn subway shooting: ‘I’m done’

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The city’s beleaguered subway riders were reeling Tuesday after the mass shooting on a Brooklyn train — with some saying the latest horrific crime has convinced them to quit the transit system for good.

“I’m done. I’m done with riding the train. It’s just not worth it,” 29-year-old finance worker Shirley Shao said while waiting for a train at Canal Street in Tribeca, Manhattan.

“Every time I go in there, I worry in the back of my mind of someone attacking me while my back is turned,” she said of the underground system. “The subway had already gotten so dangerous. This tips the scales to the other side.

“No more trains,” she said, adding that she plans to ride her bike to work going forward.

“Biking isn’t the safest either, but at least I have some control over what happens to me,” Shao said.

She and other riders bemoaned the shooting as only the latest black eye for city transit, after two years marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and high-profile incidents including the intentionally-set shopping cart fire that killed a transit worker in March 2020 and the violent shoving murder of Michelle Go this past January.

“Coronavirus, guns, people getting shoved onto subway tracks — I guess it was wishful thinking to think our troubles would end there,” said 25-year-old graduate student and straphanger Stephen Byrd.

The mass shooting on a train at a Sunset Park, Brooklyn subway station has left some commuters wanting to stay away from the subway permanently.
The mass shooting on a train at a Sunset Park, Brooklyn subway station has left some commuters wanting to stay away from the subway permanently.
Raymond Chiodini
The shooting took place during the morning rush at 36th Street Station in Brooklyn.




The shooting took place during the morning rush at 36th Street Station in Brooklyn on April 12, 2022.

“The intention to kill was obviously there,” Byrd said of Tuesday’s incident in Sunset Park’s 36th Street station. “And now, in addition to every other worry I had getting in the subway, I have to worry about getting shot up or blown up by a madman.”

Mayor Eric Adams promised to increase the number of cops patrolling the subways after Tuesday’s nightmare. That move is on top of the influxes of NYPD forces underground that were enacted by his administration earlier this year, as well as by his predecessor Bill de Blasio in 2021.

Straphangers said it was about time.

“I’m glad the mayor’s finally opening his eyes to the dangers of riding the subway,” said Tanya Lee, 43, of Parkchester in The Bronx. “it’s unfortunate that it took a terror attack, but at least it got him to take the problem seriously.

Mayor Adams promised to double the amount of NYPD officers patrolling the subways after the shooting.
Mayor Adams promised to double the amount of NYPD officers patrolling the subways after the shooting.
Photo by Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

“I’ll feel safer seeing officers in uniform down there. Officers will be a deterrent to people wanting to commit crimes as well, which will make the subways safer overall,” she said. “It has to be proportionate. The law enforcement has to be proportionate to the crimes going on. Otherwise, it’s too easy for things like this to happen.”

Zoe Liebowitz, 32, of the West Village in Mahattan agreed that the extra police presence is welcome.

“I’ve been wanting to see more cops in the subways for a long time. Sometimes it takes something drastic to bring about real change, and this will hopefully be that thing,” Liebowitz said.

Front cover of the New York Post on April 13, 2022.
Front cover of the New York Post on April 13, 2022.
Ten people were shot at the Brooklyn station, but no victims have died.
Ten people were shot at the Brooklyn station, but no victims have died.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

“Thank God, nobody died this time.  Let’s not wait for an incident where people have to die before the city takes these problems seriously.” 

Anyone with information on the shooting should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS or log onto the CrimeStoppers website.

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