Police in Brooklyn are looking for the fare evader who opened fire on several MTA employees on Tuesday morning after being ejected from a bus, it was reported.
No one was injured in the gunfire that erupted at about 6:21 a.m. on April 18 at the corner of Louisiana and Flatlands Avenues in East New York.
Based on a preliminary investigation, law enforcement sources determined that the unidentified perpetrator boarded the B82 Select Bus Service and was stopped by the driver and MTA employees for not paying his fare.
The other MTA employees — reportedly members of the Eagle Team, which enforces fare payment on SBS routes — then escorted the suspect off the bus. Police said the perpetrator then turned around, pulled out a gun and opened fire.
Cops said he fired numerous shots at the MTA employees before fleeing the scene on foot in an unknown direction. No one, however, was hit by the gunfire.
Officers from the 69th Precinct responded to the incident. Police scoured the area near the bus stop for evidence, including shell casings.
No arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation, police said.
The MTA has been aggressively battling fare evasion, particularly in the subways alongside an infusion of NYPD officers on patrol, to both combat their financial shortfall and also prevent other crimes. In October 2022, MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said that “virtually every criminal is a fare evader,” though not all fare evaders are criminals, adding that cracking down on fare evasion would help deter or prevent larger-scale crimes from occurring.
“That is part of the strategy,” Lieber said at the MTA Board in October. “Once they stop someone for fare evasion, they’re checking warrants, and it’s leading to the recovery of weapons very successfully.”
The NYPD made 601 arrests and issued 13,157 summonses for fare evasion in the fourth quarter of 2022. The number of arrests were 26% higher than they were in the third quarter of last year. However, critics pointed to NYPD data which indicated that two-thirds of those stopped for fare evasion were Black or Latino, renewing concerns about unequal enforcement and racial injustice.
Anyone with information regarding Tuesday’s shooting can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.
With reporting by Ben Brachfeld