Police were searching for two suspects involved in a fatal shooting Sunday afternoon on an elevated Queens subway platform, the NYPD said.
A man, between 20 and 30 years old, was shot in the head while standing on the southbound platform of the 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue station of the 7 line around 12:43 p.m., a police spokesman said
The violence followed a brief altercation between the victim and two men as they traveled on a 7 train on its way toward Flushing, according to NYPD Transit Chief Edward Delatorre. The argument spilled out onto the platform at 90th Street when the three disembarked.
Soon afterward, one of the men brandished a gun and fired at least three shots, striking the victim several times, Delatorre said.
Officers discovered the victim unconscious and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the spokesman confirmed.
Delatorre said it was too soon to tell whether the incident was gang-related, and that the nature of the argument wasn’t immediately clear.
“We don’t know that they knew each other; that’s still under investigation,” Delatorre said at a news briefing Sunday afternoon. “But we do believe the argument started on the subway, on the train as it was moving.”
The suspects fled out of the station, heading north on 90th Street. Police were looking for two men of interest, one heavyset with facial hair and a second with a slim build.
Trains on the 7 line were being diverted in both directions into Sunday evening as authorities conducted an investigation. Police tape blocked all entrances to the station, which sits on the boarder of Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona.
Officials from the medical examiner’s officer carried the victim’s body down the subway stairs at 4:10 p.m. and placed it on a stretcher as crowds gathered.
“I was driving and I just heard the siren of the ambulance,” said Yolanda Granda, 68, of Woodhaven. “I said,‘Something must have happened and, you know what, this is a very bad area.’
“I think that’s very scary, dangerous,” she added. “That’s terrible, that’s really scary.”
The MTA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Delatorre pledged to leave “no stone unturned” in the investigation, stressing the low crime rates in the city’s subways.
“The New York City subway system remains incredibly safe with the millions of riders who use it every day with an average of approximately one crime for every million riders per day,” he said. “Whenever a criminal act does occur, the NYPD investigates swiftly and aggressively to bring the perpetrators to justice and to keep the trains safe for all New Yorkers.”