MANHATTAN, NY – The suspect from Sunday’s fatal random shooting incident on New York’s subway system, 25-year-old Andrew Abdullah, has been taken into custody.
Initially, Abdullah was set to turn himself into police custody after “negotiations” between police, Brooklyn minister Bishop Lamor M. Whitehead, and Abdullah’s attorneys at legal aid. Reportedly, though, Abdullah did not show up to that meeting, which prompted police to continue their search for the suspect of the fatal shooting.
Original reports said that Abdullah pulled up to the City’s 5th Precinct in Chinatown with his attorney in a gray Rolls Royce, but it was later clarified that he was actually taken into custody by police while he was walking into the legal aid office downtown.
The Q-train was headed to Manhattan when the suspect randomly shot inside the car of the train, hitting and killing 48-year-old Daniel Enriquez, who had been standing up and holding on to a hanging strap. Apparently, the two didn’t know each other prior to this incident, which was described as “harrowing” and “unprovoked.”
The following day, it was announced that Abdullah was a person of interest in the case wanted for questioning.
Whitehead said Abdullah’s family can show that he has a documented “history of mental illness.” Whitehead also said Abdullah “maintains his innocence.”
“He doesn’t even remember any of this happening at all,” Whitehead continued. “We have a family that’s hurting. We have a family that lost a loved one … And this young man said, ‘I want to turn myself in.'”
Abdullah is being represented by the Legal Aid Society, who issued the following statement: “Before Andrew Abdullah could voluntarily surrender himself to the local precinct, he was needlessly ambushed out front of our Manhattan Trial Office by City Marshalls, denied of his opportunity to first consult with counsel. Since last night, we have been actively speaking with the New York Police Department and the New York County District Attorney’s Office to negotiate his surrender, and what transpired today was completely inappropriate and unwarranted given those conversations.
“We have been assigned to represent Mr. Abdullah on this case. He is presumed innocent and entitled to counsel and a robust defense. At this preliminary moment in the case, we caution New Yorkers from rushing to judgment, as we are just beginning our investigation and reviewing evidence. Mr. Abdullah deserves vigorous representation from his defense counsel and that is what The Legal Aid Society will provide.”
According to police, Sunday morning Abdullah was pacing on the last car of the train back and forth before suddenly pulling out a gun and shooting Enriquez, who later died at Bellevue Hospital from his injuries.
Abdullah fled on Canal Street after the shooting and had been on the run since then. He reportedly handed the firearm used in the shooting to a homeless man, who then sold it eight hours later to another homeless man for $10 and some cocaine. That second man turned the firearm into police.
Abdullah has had about 19 arrests since 2015.