What To Know Today

An attack on a Brooklyn subway train left 23 people injured, 10 by gunfire. At the height of the morning commute, a man released two smoke grenades and fired 33 shots on a subway car moving through the Sunset Park neighborhood before fleeing, officials said. Panicked subway riders and injured victims spilled out onto the 36th Street platform. “My subway door opened into calamity,” eyewitness Sam Carcamo described. “It was smoke and blood and people screaming.” While five people were in critical condition, none had life-threatening injuries, the Fire Department said. It was the worst shooting in the history of the New York City subway. Mayor Eric Adams said the investigation was made more difficult by the fact that none of the station’s security cameras were working. It was the 19th mass shooting in April. There were five across the United States on Sunday alone, according to Gun Violence Archive, including an incident at a nightclub in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that left two people dead and 12 injured.  

Police identify and continue to look for the suspect. At the scene of the shooting, police said they found the 9mm handgun they believed was used, extended magazines, smoke grenades, and the key to a U-Haul van that connected them to a 62-year old man with addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia. Authorities initially identified him as a person of interest on Tuesday evening, but the mayor said Wednesday morning he had officially become a suspect. A series of rambling social media videos reportedly posted by the man exhibited violent and bigoted language, as well as recent criticism of the mayor.

A look at gun trafficking from states with loose gun laws. From May through November 2020, four Atlanta-area people engaged in an alleged scheme to straw purchase scores of guns and ship them to Philadelphia. ATF agents eventually linked 260 guns to the trafficking operation, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed this week in Pennsylvania. The group sold the guns to a slew of Philadelphia-based buyers, who then resold them onto the city’s black market, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s office. Some of the guns started appearing at crime scenes within weeks or months of being purchased in Georgia, the court documents allege. Related from The Trace: In December, we reported on ATF data showing that, in 2020, police recovered almost twice as many guns with a short “time-to-crime” — guns recovered within a year of their purchase — than in 2019, a red-flag for gun trafficking.

Georgia becomes the 25th state to enact permitless carry. On Tuesday, Governor Brain Kemp signed the bill that eliminates licensing requirements for legal handgun carriers. Three Republican-held states have passed similar bills this year, and six others did so last year. While the policy was favored by state Republicans, a January poll from the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that nearly 70 percent of registered voters opposed carrying without a license.

Data Point

9 — the number of shootings with 10 or more victims since January. That’s more than any other year over the same period since Gun Violence Archive began tracking in 2014. The closest other year was 2017, which had three. [Gun Violence Archive]