This story was reported by Anthony M. DeStefano, Nicole Fuller and Nicholas Spangler. It was written by Fuller.
A 34-year-old man was killed and five others were wounded in a Bronx subway shooting that began with two groups of teenagers fighting on a 4 train during the busy Monday afternoon rush, the New York City Police Department said.
Police received multiple 911 calls beginning at 4:35 p.m. reporting shots fired on a subway platform at the Mount Eden station, the NYPD said. The victims range in age from 14 to 71 years old.
NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper, speaking at a news briefing at the scene hours later, said a fight between two groups of teenagers on the train precipitated the shooting.
“We don’t believe this was a random shooting,” said Kemper. “We do not believe this was an individual indiscriminately firing into a train or in a train station. We believe this shooting stems from a dispute between two groups who were fighting on the train.”
Four men were shot, ages 15, 28, 34 and 71. A 14-year-old girl and a 29-year-old woman were also shot. The five shooting survivors suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Kemper said.
Kemper said the first shots were fired when the train, a northbound No. 4, opened its doors upon stopping at the station with more shots then fired on the platform, Kemper said.
“There were two groups of teenagers riding a northbound 4 train when a dispute occurred,” said Kemper. “As the train pulled into the Mount Eden station, the doors opened out and at least one of the individuals in the two groups pulled out a gun and fired shots — people started running off the train onto the platform and more shots were fired on the platform.”
Authorities said investigators have retrieved video from the station and are currently reviewing it.
“This is unacceptable,” said Kemper. “And when detectives make an arrest, — and notice I said when cuz I’m very confident they will — there must be swift, immediate, strong consequences.”
The NYPD, citing an active police investigation, urged commuters to avoid the area of Jerome Avenue between Inwood and Townsend avenues in the Bronx, in a post on X.
The station is adjacent to Jerome and Mount Eden avenues and services the No. 4 IRT line. The neighborhood of Mount Eden is just south of the Cross Bronx Expressway and is bordered on the west by the Highbridge section.
Witness Efrain Feliciano said he had just gotten food from McDonald’s on the corner and gone up to the subway platform. “I heard 4, 5 or 6 shots, boom boom, then two persons screaming,” he said. “I started running”
Feliciano said he saw a bullet hit the platform wall next to him. “It’s a bad area here,” he said.
Janice Ortega, a bus driver, said she saw one woman bleeding from the face and people getting CPR. The area, she said, “is dangerous. There’s a lot of crazy things. There’s always a problem over here.”
MTA chairman and CEO John “Janno” Lieber said he had spoken to Gov. Kathy Hochul after the shooting.
“New York’s heart breaks when people who are headed home are subjected to random acts of violence like what occurred here,” said Lieber. “New York’s heart breaks when guns are on the streets even though the mayor and the governor are doing everything possible to get guns off the streets.”
During a January crime briefing, Kemper acknowledged that after a troubling 2022 for crime in the subways, 2023 improved with an overall drop in serious crimes of 2.6% over the prior year. Kemper said that in 2023 there was a drop of 33% in shootings last year compared to 2022.
Kemper credited a large deployment of police in the system with the drop in subway crime last year.