Hourari Benkada jumped on the final N train carriage Tuesday morning and sat next to a person carrying an MTA vest with a duffle bag who would unleash bloodshed and terror minutes later.
The 27-year-old detailed the chilling commute in an interview with CNN from his hospital mattress, the place he was recovering from a gunshot wound behind his knee as he tried to flee the mass shooter’s bullets.
“This makes me want to never ride a train ever again in my life,” Benkada told CNN via FaceTime.
“I was on 59th street on the ART train transferring to the N train on 59th. It was the first car, last seats. And I’m just not paying attention to that so I just walked in and sat down. The guy is next to me but I didn’t get a glimpse of his face.”
The NYPD continues to seek for the gunman who brought on the chaotic commute simply earlier than 8:30 am Tuesday, however has named Frank James, 62, as an individual of curiosity. Police say the keys discovered on the crime scene belong to a U-Haul truck in Philadelphia that was rented by James.
Benkada, a housekeeping supervisor on the New Yorker Hotel, Benkada watched the person detonate a “smoke bomb” earlier than firing photographs simply seconds after the train left the station.
Still visibly shaken, Benkada mentioned “I don’t even know how I’m holding my phone” as he recounted what occurred next.
“All you see is black smoke after the smoke bomb went off. People bum-rushing to the back,” he advised CNN. “About 10 shots went off. I think the gun jammed. I think he had an extended clip or something because I’ve never heard that many shots come off a handgun. It sounded like the loudest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Benkada mentioned his foremost precedence was serving to a damage pregnant girl get off the train earlier than being stampeded. Then Benkada described being shot.
“The worst pain of my entire life. I was just so shocked that the pain didn’t hit me until after.”
The bullet hit him behind his knee and got here out the opposite aspect. Doctors advised him the bullet grazed his kneecap. He is anticipated to stroll on his personal after a number of weeks on crutches.
Officials described James as a troubled man who railed in opposition to Mayor Adams and made weird threatening rants on YouTube.
James — who warned final month that he was “entering the danger zone” — rented a U-Haul van tied to the N train assault in Sunset Park and is being looked for questioning, police said at an evening briefing.
The NYPD elevated safety for Mayor Adams after police found the movies.
James mentioned within the movies that he had a identified psychological sickness and railed in opposition to what he referred to as the “horror show” of the town’s psychological well being companies.
The D/N/R trains resumed service on the thirty sixth Street subway station in every course early Wednesday, the MTA announced.
The three trains halted service all through components of Brooklyn and Manhattan in wake of Tuesday’s shooting simply earlier than 8:30 am.
The R train later resumed service however bypassed the station the place the shooting occurred.
The day was capped off by a collection of shootings that rocked components of The Bronx and Brooklyn on Tuesday night time left three individuals useless and not less than 12 others wounded, police and sources mentioned.