Brooklyn subway shooting victim who sat next to gunman speaks from hospital bed: ‘I was gushing blood’

A survivor of the New York City subway shooting described his time inside the train on Tuesday morning as he sat next to the shooter.

Nearly 30 people were injured when a man wearing a gas mask and a green vest threw a gas canister inside the car of an N train traveling to Manhattan.

He opened fire as training pulled into 36th Street in Sunset Park around 8.30am, shooting at least 10 people inside the train and on the station platform, and causing panic among rush hour commuters. A total of 29 people suffered non-fatal injuries from gunshot wounds and shrapnel to smoke inhalation.

While the shooter remains at large, police revealed that Frank R James was a person interested in the shooting, but added that they do not know if Mr James, 62, was the shooter.

Hourari Benkada, who was shot in the leg, said the incident left him wondering if he would ever be able to ride a train again, CNN reported.

Mr Benkada said he was on his way to work on Tuesday morning and boarded the train moments before the smoke bomb went off.

He had transferred trains to the 59th station, one stop before the 36th. He said he just walked in and sat down. “So the guy next to me…all you see is like a black smoke bomb going off. People are rushing out the back.

‚ÄúThere was a pregnant woman. She said ‘I’m pregnant with a baby’ so I hugged her,” he added. “The bomb rush continued and that’s when I I was shot in the back of the knee.”

Mr Benkada said the suspected shooter was sitting just 12ft to his left, but he did not see his face as he was “not paying attention”.

“I just had my headphones in my ear, my phone in my hand, going about my business with my head down,” he said. “But it makes me want to never get on a train again in my life.”

Benkada said the train takes just two minutes to get from 59th Street to 36th Street, but Tuesday’s trip took longer because the train kept stopping.

“It took forever [for the doors to open]. And it’s an old-fashioned train, you can’t change cars. We had to break up [the doors]. Someone broke the first door, the second was very hard to break.

He said he was focusing on the pregnant woman, and “that’s when I was shot in the leg.”

“When she [the pregnant woman] saw the smoke, she got up. I see she has a belly. First the smoke cleared, then the gunfire. That’s when she said ‘I’m pregnant’ so I gave her a hug.”

“I did not mean it [the gunshot to his knee] It was serious until I got off the train and pulled my pants down and that’s when I saw blood spurting out.

Showing his injury, Mr Benkada explained that “the bullet went through the back of the knee and came out the side”.

“It was the size of a quarter,” he said.

Mr. Benkada is being treated in hospital and does not yet know when he will be released.

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