NEW YORK -- A 15-year-old boy was fatally shot on a New York subway train Friday after a dispute between two groups of people escalated into violence.
It was the eighth killing in New York’s subway system this year, at a time when a gradual increase in ridership after a steep decline during the COVID-19 pandemic has been hampered by riders’ safety concerns.
According to police, who didn’t identify the victim, the teenager was in one of the groups that got into an argument on an A train in Queens shortly before 4 p.m.
As the train neared the line’s final stop in Far Rockaway, near JFK Airport, someone fired one shot, striking the boy in the chest. A passenger helped him off the train when it reached the station. Police and emergency personnel took him to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police were reviewing security camera footage from the station and the surrounding area. They didn't say whether they had identified any suspects or a more specific motivation for the shooting.
Despite the deployment of more than 1,000 more police officers in the system since the pandemic began, a survey released last month by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority found 70% of riders felt there were too few officers in the system. Barely more than 50% said they felt safe or very safe on trains or in stations.
“We obviously have work to do,” New York City Transit President Richard Davey said Friday. "We’ve got to stop this.”
NYPD Chief of Transit Jason Wilcox said arrests have been made in all seven of the previous killings this year.
Last month, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the MTA would put cameras on all of its nearly 6,400 subway cars to rebuild riders’ faith in the system’s safety. The project is expected to take three years to complete.
New York City’s subway system already has more than 10,000 existing security cameras in its 472 stations.