Mayor Adams calls for more power to detain people with mental health issues in wake of Brooklyn train shooting

Mayor Eric Adams is calling for increased power to hospitalize people with mental health issues against their will in the wake of a bloody shooting that broke out on a subway Thursday evening.

Two men – a 32-year-old and a 36-year-old – got into a physical fight aboard an A train, police said, after the 36-year-old man began arguing with the 32-year-old just after 5 p.m. The older man pulled out a gun and the younger man wrested it from him, shooting the 36-year-old “more than once” police said, as the train pulled into Brooklyn’s Hoyt-Schermerhorn station.

It’s the latest in a series of violent incidents on city subways that have prompted a flood of new NYPD officers patrolling and doing bag checks in train stations. Gov. Kathy Hochul recently sent in close to a thousand National Guard troops to assist with the bag checks — a move she said was meant to battle the perception of violence on trains.

Videos of the Thursday shooting showing people cowering in fear on the train floor indicate that effort has not been successful.

Adams said Friday morning, he needed Albany to increase his powers to detain people with mental health conditions.

“When people look at public safety, they look at the police aspect of it, but there are other connections that must be filled in that are not, such as we’re attempting to do in Albany around those with severe mental health illnesses, involuntary removals,” the mayor said during an interview on NY1. “When you look at many of these random acts of violence that you’re seeing, you’re seeing that it’s dealing with people who are dealing with some real severe mental health illness.”

During an interview on 77 WABC later in the morning, he said, “You’ve got to give us more power, Albany, to deal with involuntary removals for those who are dealing with severe mental health illness.”

The man who was shot, and who appeared to start the altercation, is in critical but stable condition, police said. It’s unclear if he’s been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Riders Friday morning said they weren’t deterred by the violence the night before, largely as they had no choice if they wanted to get to work.

Jose Aguilar, 50, said he was changing to the G train Thursday from the A/C when he heard the shots and saw people running out of the stopped train. He was back Friday morning, commuting again.

“My wife said, ‘Be really careful on the train.’ But I said, ‘I have to take it.’” he said.

“I don’t feel very safe, because now you can’t walk normally through the trains,” he added. “You don’t know who will attack someone suddenly, there are a lot of crazy people walking around here … I can’t walk like an innocent person. I walk like this [rigidly] — as if I had enemies.”

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