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From the archives: Coming 'face to face' with the gunman

This story was originally published in Newsday on Dec. 8,1993.

Every Tuesday Susanne Blum goes to pick up her husband, Kevin, at the train station. This week, when she found him, he told her he'd just helped to capture a killer.

Kevin Blum of Garden City was one of three men who overpowered the Long Island Rail Road gunman last night, pushing him into a seat and holding him until police arrived. The Wall Street bond trader, dressed in a business suit and trench coat, came face to face with a killer. "That's just what he said to me. 'Face to face,' " Susanne Blum said.

Kevin Blum, 42, was waiting in the middle of a car, near the door, for the train to stop at Merillon Avenue. "He heard a sound like a firecracker. He thought it was a firecracker, and it just kept going," his wife said.

"Everyone panicked and just tried to get away from the sound of the gun," she said. Kevin Blum saw the man walk toward the front of the car. The shots stopped temporarily once while the gunman reloaded, Susanne Blum said. Then, when he stopped again, Kevin Blum and two other men pounced.

"My husband and two other men jumped on him and held him until police came," Susanne Blum said. Kevin Blum was emotionally shook up last night, she said. "It happened so fast. Everyone was so scared."

The Blums moved to Garden City from Belle Harbor, Queens, a year ago, because they wanted a suburban environment for their four children, Kerry, 14, Brian, 12, Alicen, 9, and Kevin Jr., 3.

Susanne Blum had just picked Alicen up from gymnastics when she stopped at the station to see if her husband had made the 5:33 train. She saw friends who told her that someone had been shooting on the train.

She dropped the children off at home and went back to find Kevin. She did, outside the station.

She said he felt lucky to be alive, and wished he'd gone after the gunman sooner, which might have saved more people. Last night, Kevin Blum walked back to the station for his briefcase, which he'd forgotten about in all the action, she said. When he arrived there, police asked to question him, so he was not available for comment.

Susanne Blum said she did not know the names of the other men who helped subdue the gunman, but said her husband does. He had tried to call one, but the man's wife said he had gone to a St. John's basketball game.

"He's in a little better shape than my husband," Susanne Blum said. Kevin Blum, who was not hurt, plans to take the day off from work today, to relax.

With Susan Forrest

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