New York City police are hunting for a gunman who put on a gas mask before setting off a smoke bomb on a subway train and shooting 10 people.
Officers are reported to be looking for a U-Haul truck with Arizona license plates as they attempt to locate the attacker.
Police around New York City have been told to stop the truck if they spot it moving in traffic and detain anyone inside, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
At least 16 people were injured during the attack at the 36th Street station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park area, authorities have said.
Five people are in a critical but stable condition, according to the New York Fire Department commissioner.
New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell confirmed ten people were shot but did not say how the other six people sustained their injuries. She added that none of the 16 victims suffered life-threatening injuries.
Ms Sewell said the attack is not being investigated as terrorism but she is “not ruling out anything” as the motive remains unclear.
The suspect was reported as being a black male with a heavy build.
He was also said to be wearing a green construction-type vest and a hooded sweatshirt when he opened fire at around 8:20am local time (1:20pm UK time), Ms Sewell added.
“This morning, as a Manhattan-bound N train waited to enter the 36th station, an individual on that train donned what appeared to be a gas mask, he then took a canister out of his bag and opened it,” the police commissioner told a press conference.
“The train at that time began to fill with smoke. He then opened fire, striking multiple people on the subway and in the
platform,” Ms Sewell added.
Investigators recovered a firearm at the scene along with multiple smoke devices and other items they are analysing, two law enforcement officials have said.
Footage shows smoke billowing out of the train carriage as it pulls into the station and opens its doors, with passengers pouring out and some collapsing to the ground.
Photos shared on social media show people tending to bloodied passengers lying on the floor.
US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the developments and senior staff are in contact with the city’s mayor Eric Adams, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Sam Carcamo, a witness, told radio station 1010 WIN he saw a gigantic billow of smoke pouring out of the train once the door opened.
“My subway door opened into calamity. It was smoke and blood and people screaming”, he said.
A video captured by a bystander shows people lying on the subway platform surrounded by what appear to be small puddles of blood, as a loudspeaker announcement tells everyone to get on a train.
Outside the station a police officer is heard yelling: “Let’s go! Get out of the way!”
The attack took place on a subway line that runs through south Brooklyn in a neighbourhood about a 15-minute train ride to Manhattan.
Local schools, including Sunset Park High School across the street, were locked down..
Outside the 36th Street station, in an area known for its thriving Chinatown and views of the Statue of Liberty, authorities shut down a dozen or so blocks and closed off the immediate area with yellow crime scene tape.