A 24-year-old man, identified as Brooklyn resident Marcus Bethea, was shot to death inside Jamaica Center Monday just as rush hour began.
Trains rolled into the bustling transportation hub and right into a crime scene.
"It was terrifying you know," witness Tamar Spears said. "I heard the gunshots and I heard the commotion everybody starts running out of the train station it was honestly scary."
Police responded to shots fired near the Archer Avenue/Parsons subway station around 4:30 p.m.
When officers arrived, they found a man with a gunshot wound to his chest.
The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators say the suspect approached the victim, who was standing near the ticket booth, and a verbal dispute started between the two.
That dispute quickly escalated to a physical fight before the suspect pulled out a gun and fired five shots.
"We're trying to determine what initiated this dispute between these two males that lead to the fight that lead to the shooting," Chief of Transit Jason Wilcox said at a press conference Monday night. "There's a host of things we're doing in the transit system one of them is enhanced presence and visibility another one is uniformed train patrollers, effective enforcement, greater attention to quality of life."
This incident happened hours after the NYPD said stabbings and slashings in transit were up more than 70% year over year.
Felony assaults are also up 33% from last year and up more than 50% just from February to March.
Wilcox also said at Monday's press briefing that there were no officers present in the ticket booth area of the station when the fight began.
It makes you feel scared," Spears said. "Very scared. Like scared to then travel on public transportation knowing there are people that don't care about other people's lives. That don't mind jeopardizing other people's lives."
Investigators are reviewing cameras within the subway station and interviewing witnesses to gather more information. No arrests have been made at this time.
Police did recover a gun at the scene.
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