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Penn Station gunman arraigned for making threats to Jewish community, Hochul boosts security statewide

Penn Station
The 34th Street-Penn Station subway platform
Photo via Getty Images

One of the two Penn Station gunmen arrested Friday night has been arraigned on criminal charges for allegedly making terroristic threats to the Jewish community.

Christopher Brown, 20, of Aquebogue, Long Island was ordered held without bail at his arraignment on Nov. 20 in New York County Criminal Court, according to court records. The case was also transferred to New York Superior Court for further action.

Brown and a second suspect, Matthew Mahrer, were arrested Friday night and found in possession of several lethal weapons, including a loaded Glock handgun. Police allege that Brown had been wanted previously for making threats online to harm Jewish individuals and institutions in and around New York.

The case prompted the NYPD to increase their presence at sensitive locations Saturday. On Sunday, Governor Kathy Hochul further announced that the New York State Police would increase its surveillance and protection efforts at synagogues, temples and other houses of worship.

“Here in New York, we will not tolerate violence or bigotry toward any community,” said Hochul. “We stand united against hate — today and every day.”      

According to police, Brown, 22, had been wanted for making terroristic threats against synagogues around the New York City area. An NYPD intelligence alert that Brooklyn City Council Member Ari Kagan posted to his Twitter account Saturday noted that Brown allegedly “has a history of mental illness and has recently expressed interest in traveling to NYC to purchase a firearm.”

MTA Police Department Chief John Mueller said the officers had spotted Brown and Mahrer at the station and positively identified them as the persons of interest. They then searched both men, leading to the discovery of the hunting knife and, later, the handgun.

Both men were then arrested and turned over to the NYPD and the FBI, the chief added.

Mahrer, 22, of Manhattan, was booked on a weapons possession charges; his connection to Brown remains under investigation.

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