NEW YORK CITY -- Retired NYPD Transit Chief Joe Fox says he feels for the subway riders who experienced the terror of Tuesday's subway shooting.
"Imagine knowing you have to get away and you can't," Fox said. "You can't get out of a confined area. I really feel for them."
Twenty nine people were injured in the shooting that took place at the 36th Street station on a Manhattan-bound express N train in Brooklyn.
A massive manhunt continues for the gunman who donned a gas mask and construction jacket before setting off several smoke bombs in the train car and opening fire.
For six years, Joe Fox was the chief of the NYPD's Transit Bureau and he said Tuesday's attack preyed on the unease riders already feel on the subway.
"People feel vulnerable and they are vulnerable because in that case until those doors open, those people are trapped in that car," Fox said. "Just imagine that feeling."
Video shows passengers moving away from the car where the attack occurred while another shows someone trying to open a locked door between cars.
The doors are locked to prevent passengers from falling onto the tracks, a safety mechanism that chief Fox says the MTA will likely now review.
"Thankfully this train pulled into a station when it did so they could get relief and those doors could open," Fox said.
Before emergency responders arrived, the video shows passengers helping the injured and working together to get aid.
"At least two victims we saw coming out with gunshot wounds with people helping them, so that was really humanity at its best," Fox said.
Security cameras in the 36th Street station were not working, making it that much harder to identify the suspect.
Criticism of Mayor Eric Adams' plan to put more NYPD officers in the transit system to crack down on petty crime like fare beating and loitering quickly rose in response to Tueday's violent incident. A report from the New York Times revealing a uniformed officer had to ask passengers to call 911 on the train platform because his radio was not working.
Fox says passengers should expect a larger NYPD presence in the subways, both plain-clothed and uniformed, in the days and weeks ahead.
When asked if the system can regain commuter trust, Fox said, "it can and it will."
"Because the transit system is literally and figuratively the lifeline of the city," Fox said. "And this is a great city and nothing will keep us down long term."
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