A Brooklyn man charged with the unprovoked murder of a Q train driver last weekend ordered other passengers to “put their cell phones away” after the deadly shooting, a Manhattan district attorney told a prosecutor on Wednesday. judge.
The man, Andrew Abdullah, 25, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of rider Daniel Enriquez on Sunday. Mr. Abdullah appeared in Manhattan criminal court on Wednesday and was held without bail by Judge Jonathan Svetkey.
The murder of Mr. Enriquez, 48, came amid a recent spate of mass shootings across the country and about six weeks after at least 23 subway riders were injured when a gunman opened fire on an N train in Brooklyn.
Prosecutors used the court hearing on Wednesday to provide new details about the events surrounding Mr Enriquez’s death. Nicole Blumberg, an assistant district attorney, said Mr Abdullah committed “a deliberate and unprovoked attack”.
Witnesses have said that Mr. Abdullah was pacing and mumbling in the car as it crossed the Manhattan Bridge toward Canal Street station. He then, according to prosecutors, shot Mr. Enriquez in the chest with a handgun.
Ms. Blumberg described the fear among other riders in the last car of the train that they would be the next target.
“After hearing the gunshot, the other passengers ran to the sides of the train and hid, praying for the life of their fellow passenger and hoping they would not be the defendant’s next victims,” she said.
Abdullah ordered passengers to “put their cell phones away” and exit the train at the Canal Street stop, Ms. Blumberg said. Then, she said, when passengers, transit workers and emergency personnel attempted to resuscitate Mr. Enriquez, Mr. Abdullah carried out an “exit strategy.”
He left behind his 9-millimeter pistol and the dark sweatshirt he was wearing, Ms. Blumberg said. After leaving the station, he bought a hat and backpack at a nearby store to change his appearance, then walked what she called a “zigzag” route to avoid a police chase in lower Manhattan. He was arrested on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Mr. Abdullah stood stoically in the courtroom wearing a white mask, gray shirt and light blue pants. Kristin Bruan, the attorney representing him for the Legal Aid Society, asked Judge Svetkey to make sure her client received “medical and psychiatric attention.”
“Tensions are currently running high in the city, and now is the time to ensure our civil liberties are protected,” Ms Bruan said outside the courthouse.
Ms. Blumberg said that Mr. Abdullah faces 25 years to life if convicted of murdering Mr. Enriquez, a Goldman Sachs employee who was the eldest of five siblings and a beloved uncle.