The suspect in Sunday’s Q train murder on the Manhattan Bridge approaching Chinatown turned himself in at the 5th Precinct in downtown Manhattan Tuesday afternoon.
Police identified the man as 25-year-old Brooklynite Andrew Abdullah, who they believe fatally shot a fellow subway rider on Sunday.
The Prospect Lefferts Gardens resident allegedly shot Park Slope resident Daniel Enriquez in the chest while they were heading over the Manhattan Bridge toward Canal Street station on the morning of May 22.
He had been pacing up and down the last subway car muttering words to himself including “no phones,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig during a press conference at police headquarters Tuesday evening, adding that his motive remained unclear.
“That’s a big mystery in this one,” Essig said.
Abdullah allegedly fled out of the Chinatown stop, but was stopped by officers rushing to the shooting about a block-and-a-half away.
He handed over his ID, but cops let him go because he had taken off his hoodie and no longer matched the initial description.
“They stopped him, talked to him, asked him what he was doing, they were satisfied with the answers,” Essig said. “He had a different colored shirt on and he had a backpack. They radioed to the officers on the scene and it was a different description.”
“He leaves, when later we review the video from the train and we see that distinctive orange shirt, now we go back there, we retrieve more video, catching him taking off the hoodie and we’re able to put that together, we have his ID, that’s how we were able to identify him,” Essig continued.
Adbullah remained on the lam for two days, until his surrender Tuesday afternoon.
The handover to the authorities was initially being negotiated by his lawyers with the Legal Aid Society and Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead, a pastor for Abdullah’s family and former candidate for Brooklyn Borough President, who told Mayor Eric Adams in the lead up to the arrest that Abdullah wanted to turn himself in.
“He was very in support of this young man turning himself in, because Mayor Adams is cleaning this city up, and to hear that the alleged person who did the crime is willing to turn himself in, he was glad to hear this,” Miller-Whitehead told reporters outside the precinct Tuesday.
Adams once described himself as a mentor to Miller-Whitehead, whose father Arthur Miller was choked to death by police officers in Crown Heights in 1978.
But law enforcement officials ambushed Abdullah outside the Legal Aid Society’s Manhattan office, despite them working with the city to turn him in, according to Miller-Whitehead and the non-profit legal organization.
“Before Andrew Abdullah could voluntarily surrender himself to the local precinct, he was needlessly ambushed out front of our Manhattan Trial Office by law enforcement, denied of his opportunity to first consult with counsel,” the Legal Aid Society wrote in a statement. “Since last night, we have been actively speaking with the New York Police Department and the New York County District Attorney’s Office to negotiate his surrender, and what transpired today was completely inappropriate and unwarranted given those conversations.”
NYPD’s Chief Essig said they had heard by Tuesday morning that he was going to turn himself in, but law enforcement decided to nab him outside the Legal Aid Society’s Lower Manhattan offices.
“We received word this morning that he was going to turn himself in. He was given ample time to turn himself in and Regional [Task Force] found him in front of 49 Thomas [Street],” Essig said.
Enriquez’s slaying was yet another shocking attack on transit riders in the early months of Mayor Adams’s administration.
The 48-year-old Goldman Sachs employee had been en route to brunch and took the train to avoid Uber’s steep prices, according to reports.
“Thanks to the good work of the men and women and our partners in law enforcement, we got him and we got him in a way that he could not cause more injuries to New Yorkers,” Mayor Adams said during the evening briefing at One Police Plaza.
“Daniel was shot in his heart, we feel it in our hearts. We lost a fellow New Yorker, one of the good guys,” Hizzoner added.