Exclusive: Man shot in Brooklyn subway attack describes harrowing ordeal

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Wednesday, April 27, 2022
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A man shot by the gunman on a Brooklyn subway train is speaking out, describing his harrowing ordeal. Lauren Glassberg has the story.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- One of the victims wounded by a gunman on a Brooklyn subway train is speaking out exclusively to Eyewitness News, describing the harrowing ordeal and begging city officials for help.

Kareem Aly was on the northbound N train when the alleged shooter, Frank R. James, donned a gas mask, set off smoke canisters and opened fire as the train pulled into a station in Sunset Park.

Authorities say James fired 33 shots, wounding 10 people and injuring 19 more.

"The pain is over 1,000," Aly said.

He says he is in excruciating pain, even two weeks after he was shot.

"A lot of smoke, smoke, smoke," he said. "What happened? In my mind, there's a fire in the car."

RELATED | Frank R. James: What we know about Brooklyn subway shooting suspect

As he moved away from the smoke, he was struck in the leg.

"Something like here is electric," he said, pointing to his wound.

That electric jolt was a bullet.

"I hear a shotgun, tock, tock, tock, like that," he said. "He shot me again."

His shin had shattered.

"I see my left, this area, is separate from the ankle," he said. "I can't walk, and I can't stand up."

He hobbled off the train and collapsed on the platform. In the days following, doctors put a titanium rod and screws in his leg, and he's had a skin graft.

He was finally released from the hospital Tuesday night.

"I lost everything my job, my work, I lost everything," he said. "I don't have any activities to do. I don't have health to do something. You see, I'm home alone."

Aly's whole family is back in Egypt, and now he's isolated. Also, without insurance, he can't afford a rehab center.

He wants to be able to run, play soccer and work again, and he knows he's also emotionally scarred.

Now, he is hoping his beloved New York City will come through for him with some financial assistance.

"I lost everything everything," he said. "I lost everything."

RELATED | Man who spotted subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, flagged down officers speaks out

Separately Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul and the MTA commended 18 heroic workers for their life-saving actions in the shooting. Their decisive actions helped to ensure the safety of passengers.

"During the tragic shooting that occurred on the subway on April 12, one man set out to divide us," Hochul said. "In response, our MTA workers sent a clear message: Don't mess with New Yorkers, because if you attack one of us, you attack all of us. These workers stepped up without hesitation to do everything they could to protect their fellow New Yorkers, and today we honor their heroism. Time and time again we see the heroes of the MTA work around the clock calmly in the midst of mayhem to ensure New Yorkers have efficient and safe transportation, and I am incredibly grateful for all their hard work and courage."

Hochul presented commendations to the following MTA employees:

--David Artis, Train Operator

--Raven Haynes, Conductor

--Joseph Franchi, Train Operator

--Dayron Williams, Conductor

--Niall Maguire, General Superintendent

--Gilberto Rosado, Train Service Supervisor

--Jose Martinez, Conductor

--Mark Wolodarsky, Line Superintendent

--Sheila Hutson, District Customer Service Manager

--Rolando Hernandez, Group Station Manager

--Louis Lanfair, Group Station Manager

--Chantay Adams, Group Station Superintendent

--Angel Oquendo, Cleaner, NYC Transit Authority

--Charlene Gardner, Cleaner, NYC Transit Authority

--Peter Stone, Train Service Supervisor

--Tanyia Brand-Jones, Digital Communications, Staff Analyst II, Digital Communications Unit

--Annie Morrison, Digital Communications, Staff Analyst II, Digital Communications Unit

--Tyler Schow, Digital Communications, Manager, Customer Communications, Digital Communications Unit

Artis and Haynes were the N train crew members who helped passengers to evacuate the Manhattan-bound train at the 36th Street station. Franchi and Williams were operating a Brooklyn-bound N train one station away and stopped the R train at the 25the Street station to ensure the train's riders were not heading into a dangerous situation.

Schow, Morrison, and Brand-Jones were members of the MTA's Digital Communications Unit, who rapidly responded to the incident by providing clear service information, and they responded to an enormous volume of customer inquiries. Brand-Jones wrote the initial delay message for this incident, keeping a cool head and gleaning the most important service impact information as multiple conflicting reports came in.

Hutson, Lanfair, Hernandez, and Adams were station management team members who, upon notification of the incident, immediately made their way to 25t Street and then 36th Street to evaluate the situation. They provided support to MTA workers at the two stations and coordinated customer service to assist riders whose journeys were impacted by the incident. They also aided law enforcement by placing blue tarping around the station to allow the investigation to proceed securely.

Stone is a Train Service Supervisor who was in Bay Ridge at the 95th Street station at the time of the incident. He went to 36th St immediately, where his detailed knowledge of the station proved invaluable to the NYPD as the investigation proceeded. He also applied the hand brake on the incident train to keep it secured in the station and contacted train crews to make sure they would know to bypass 36 St during the period of the incident and investigation.

Oquendo and Gardner were station cleaners on the scene at the 36th Street and 25th Street stations as the incident occurred. They calmly alerted booth agents and were among the first MTA employees to respond to the incident.

Maguire, Rosado, Martinez, and Wolodarsky were at the 38th Street Yard and headed right to the 36th Street station after initial reports about the incident. Without knowing the full details of the situation and without hesitation, they were among the first MTA employees to arrive on the scene to respond. They ensured that all customers on incident trains, as well as those on stalled trains on the same line, were able to detrain safely.

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