A man suspected of suddenly pulling out a gun and killing a stranger on the New York City subway was arrested Tuesday, with police saying his motive for the unprovoked attack was ” a great mystery”.
Andrew Abdullah, 25, is expected to face murder charges in the death of Daniel Enriquez, 48, who was fatally shot while attending a Sunday brunch.
Abdullah “targeted this poor individual for reasons we are not aware of,” Detective Chief Detective James Essig said at a news conference.
The arrest came hours after police posted Abdullah’s name and photo on social media and appealed to the public for help finding him. But after his arrest, police revealed that officers stopped him after the shooting but let him go because his clothes didn’t match the description they were given.
The Legal Aid Association, which represents Abdullah, said it had only just begun to review the evidence and urged the public not to make assumptions about the case.
“Mr. Abdullah deserves strong representation from his defense attorney, and that is what the Legal Aid Association will provide,” the organization said in a statement.
About six weeks after another subway shooting injured 10 people, witnesses on Sunday saw a man riding in the last carriage of the Q train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, muttering. alone, Essig said. The only words the witness could utter: “No phone.”
The man then pulled out a gun and shot Enriquez at close range, shooting him once in the chest, police said. The gunman fled after the train arrived on Canal Street in Manhattan and handed the gun to a stranger on the subway stairs, Essig said. Police eventually found the recipient and the gun, which is believed to have been stolen in Virginia in 2019.
About a block and a half away, officers stopped Abdullah and asked what he was doing, Essig said. But he wasn’t wearing the black hoodie mentioned in the original suspect description, and he had a backpack that wasn’t mentioned. The officers let him go but took his name down.
It was only later, while watching surveillance video, that police realized that the gunman had removed his shirt after the shooting, Essig said.
The Legal Aid Association said it tried to arrange for Abdullah to surrender in the subway shooting, but authorities made a “completely unwarranted and inappropriate” decision to arrest him. I’m outside the organization’s office. An investigation has been sent to the police.
Abdullah was paroled until June last year after serving two and a half years behind bars on charges of conspiracy and attempted possession of a weapon in a gang case, according to parole and police records. Court records show he opened criminal cases stemming from an April 24 car theft and an alleged assault in 2020. He pleaded not guilty in either case. there; Message seeking comment was left with his attorney.
“This terrible crime should never have happened,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a news conference on Tuesday, calling Abdullah “a repeat offender who has been given the credit for everyone by the criminal justice system.” reluctance”.
Before his arrest, Enriquez’s sister Griselda Vile pleaded with the city on Tuesday to tackle crime more effectively.
“I pray that this doesn’t happen to another New Yorker,” she told Fox News. “I don’t want my brother to be just a name in the media, a name that has passed in our normal post-pandemic era.”
Enriquez works for global investment research at Goldman Sachs, where Chief Executive Officer David Solomon calls him a devoted and beloved employee who has “exhibited a culture of collaboration and excellence.” ours”.
A child of Mexican-American parents, Enriquez spent his childhood in Brooklyn before his family moved to California and then to Seattle, his partner, Adam Pollack, told the New YorkPost.
Enriquez returned to New York City in the mid-1990s to pursue a master’s degree in Latin American studies at New York University. The yen for his education doesn’t stop there – during the coronavirus pandemic, he learned to play the guitar and speak Portuguese and Italian, his family and partner said.
Brother-in-law Glenn Vile told Fox News: “He was constantly in self-improvement mode.
Enriquez, the eldest of five children, texted his siblings about an hour before he was killed to advise them to check on their parents, who had health problems. , she said.
The seemingly random shooting rocked a city already poised for public safety. Many types of crime have flared up again after plummeting earlier during the pandemic when people were staying at home.
In the first five months of 2022, the number of shootings in the city decreased slightly compared to the same period last year and the number of homicides decreased by 12% compared to last year. But New York is still on track to have its second-highest homicide count since 2011, after nearly a decade at a record low.
In terms of violent crime, the city is still fundamentally safer than it was in the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s. But crime is now a top concern for city voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this month. It surveyed 1,249 registered city voters and had a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.
Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat who campaigned on promises to make the city safer, said his administration will evaluate how officers are deployed on the metro system. vast underground.
Associated Press journalists Mary Altaffer and Tom Hays contributed.