NEW YORK — Three minutes felt like a lifetime to a Brooklyn subway rider after a lone gunman opened fired inside the car he was in, turning a morning commute into a bloodbath.
Shaken riders who escaped the subterranean Tuesday morning shooting spree spoke of terror and chaos after the gunman rose from his seat in the rear of an N/R train and opened fire, wounding 10 riders with nowhere to run or hide. Six others were injured.
“It happened inside my car,” said the 50-year-old technician riding in the second car of a train beneath Sunset Park when the shooting started around 8:30 a.m. “I didn’t see the guy. I seen a lot of people on top of me. … People piled on top of me, trying to get away from the guy who was in the back of the car.
“I heard yelling, people screaming before the shots started … I’m in such a state of disarray. I heard like 30 shots. I see people running and I hear ‘Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!’ It was like three minutes, the longest three minutes I ever had in my life.”
Fellow rider John Butsikares, 15, was on his way to school at Brooklyn Tech when the conductor started yelling for medical assistance.
“It was all scary,” the teen recalled. “People didn’t know what was going on. I saw people at 25th Street who were getting carried off.”
A 21-year-old college student recalled how the carnage began in a horrifying instant after the assailant — wearing a gas mask and an orange construction vest — tossed smoke bombs across the car and started blasting away.
“It all happened so fast,” she said. “He was just sitting there and there was luggage next to him and he was just holding it. … There was a big ‘bang!’ sound and people got scared. There were people laying down, and (people) running off. And I just followed them.”