NEW YORK (AP) – A 15-year-old boy was fatally shot Friday on a New York subway after a dispute between two groups escalated into violence.
It was the eighth homicide in New York’s subway system this year, at a time when a gradual increase in passenger numbers after a sharp decline during the COVID-19 pandemic was hampered by rider safety concerns.
According to police, who did not identify the victim, the teen was in one of the groups that got into an argument on an A train in Queens shortly before 4 p.m.
As the train approached the last stop of the line at Far Rockaway, near JFK Airport, someone fired one shot and hit the boy in the chest. A passenger helped him out of the train as it reached the station. Police and emergency services took him to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The police examined surveillance camera images of the station and the surrounding area. They did not say whether they had identified suspects or a more specific motivation for the shooting.
Despite the deployment of more than 1,000 additional police officers in the system since the start of the pandemic, a survey released last month by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority found that 70% of drivers felt there were too few officers in the system. Hardly more than 50% said they feel safe or very safe on trains or at stations.
“We clearly have work to do,” New York City Transit president Richard Davey said Friday. “We have to stop this.”
NYPD chief of Transit Jason Wilcox said arrests have been made in all seven previous murders this year.
Last month, Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the MTA would place cameras on all of its nearly 6,400 subways to restore riders’ confidence in the safety of the system. The project is expected to take three years to complete.
The New York City subway system already has more than 10,000 existing security cameras in its 472 stations.
JOIN THE CALL