20-year-old shot and killed on LIRR train at Ronkonkoma station

RONKONKOMA, Suffolk County (WABC) -- A man was fatally shot on an LIRR train in Ronkonkoma, closing a platform at the station through the morning commute on Wednesday.

The shot was fired around 1:45 a.m. on the 1:51 a.m. train to Penn Station. Someone called 911 to report the shooting.

Witnesses reported seeing a man in a hoodie running from the scene following the shooting.

"The two people involved, the shooter and the victim, appear to have been traveling together, and they appear to have known each other," Suffolk County police Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer said. "I'd like to stress this is not a random event. No other passengers were in danger. There were only two or three other passengers on the train. They were not in danger. This appears to be an isolated event. It does not appear to have any connection to any other incidents in the past."

Jason K


The victim, identified as 20-year-old Yusef Staine, was pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital. His mother, Pamela Usher, spoke to Eyewitness News Reporter Kristin Thorne.

"He was killed, and we need the person who did it to come forward," she said.

Eyewitness News learned that Staine lived in Arizona for a time and played on the Westview High School basketball team.

A coach said he remembered Staine as loving basketball, being coachable and having a good work ethic. The coach said he recalled Staine returned to New York after his sophomore year.

The shooting happened while the train was in the Ronkonkoma station and had not yet started its scheduled trip to Penn Station in New York City.

Gabriel Tamayo, of Terryville, said he saw all the police at the station around 4:45 a.m. He thought it was for an accident, not realizing someone had been shot.

"It's really something to be worried about," he said. "I get here every day at 4:45 a.m. "Lots of people get here earlier than me."
The train was taken out of service while police investigated and one platform was closed for the morning commute, causing delays on the rest of the branch as a result.


Detectives are asking anyone with information on this shooting to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

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