A Brooklyn ex-con and reputed gang member was charged Tuesday night with murder in the fatal subway shooting of another passenger on a Manhattan-bound train, officials said.
Andrew Abdullah, 25, with a last known address in Flatbush, had been in NYPD custody since surrendering with his attorney Tuesday afternoon, an event involving the intercession of a Brooklyn clergyman, according to officials.
He faces charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the Sunday afternoon shooting of Brooklyn resident Daniel Enriquez, 48, as both rode a Q train to Manhattan, the NYPD said. Enriquez had no contact with Abdullah before he was shot once in the chest, police said. Enriquez was pronounced dead Sunday at a hospital.
At a news conference late Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the killing of Enriquez represented "every New Yorker's worst nightmare."
NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said witnesses heard Abdullah mutter the words "no phones" just before he pulled out a handgun and shot Enriquez as the Goldman Sachs employee sat in the last car of the train before fleeing.
Cops responding to the shooting scene Sunday came across Abdullah on the street outside a Manhattan subway station, questioned him and then released him after documenting the stop, including his name. Since Abdullah was wearing a red shirt — not a black hoodie worn by the shooter — officers weren't suspicious, according to police.
A further review of video showed Abdullah had earlier taken off the hoodie, revealing the red shirt, police said. As a result, investigators then realized they had interviewed Abdullah and taken down his name, according to police.
Sewell said the fact that Abdullah was free despite an open gun case from two years ago was "yet another failure" of the criminal justice system in a state that doesn't allow judges to hold defendants in jail on danger grounds. The police commissioner noted that Abduallah had prior arrests for felonious assault, robbery and attempted murder.
State correction records showed that Abdullah served up to 30 months in a gun case and was released in 2019, with his parole supervision ending in June 2021. Since then, Abdullah faced arrest for auto theft and strongarm robbery, Essig said.
At the news conference, Mayor Eric Adams was asked about the involvement of Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead, a Brooklyn clergyman, in arranging the surrender. Adams said he knew Whitehead, who couldn't be reached for comment late Tuesday.
As Sewell did, Adams criticized what he called "the revolving door of the criminal justice system" that appears to "pit the NYPD and New Yorkers against the bad guys."
"We got a killer off our streets," Adams said, "but far too many killers are back on our streets."