Horrified Passengers Watch as Man is Stabbed, Killed on NY Subway

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NEW YORK CITY – A late night train ride turned into a murder scene as passengers witnessed a passenger stab another passenger over a seat on the subway train.

Witnesses told police that the victim, later identified as Dwight Johnson, was sitting down with his belongings beside him. The accused, Gerardo Sanchez, approached Johnson and demanded he move his belongings so he could sit down. Johnson responded saying there were plenty of empty seats on the train, however it was not the response Sanchez was looking for. The passengers say that Sanchez then brought out a knife and stabbed the victim in the neck and hands.

As soon as the incident happened, a passenger pulled the emergency cord signaling the train to stop. However, because the train was underground where it would be hard for emergency responders to reach, the train continued for several minutes until its next stop, at Rockefeller Center. Meanwhile, all the passengers who had just witnessed the murder were forced to remain in the subway car with Sanchez, who opened a window to dispose of the knife while the train was still in motion. His attempt was in vain, however, as police were later able to locate and identify the weapon.

The murder took place on the uptown bound D train around 2 a.m. on Saturday Nov. 21st. The victim was a homeless vagrant man, and little is known about him or his family.

Sanchez plead not guilty at an arraignment held shortly after the incident. Family and friends say that he is not a violent person, and they are trying to understand why he would do such a thing. Sanchez’s brother Luis told investigators that his brother had recently been injured on the job and had been taking pain medication for his condition.

Defending the charges against Sanchez, prosecutor Eric Kratville said in court, “This is a completely unprovoked attack on an unarmed stranger in front of 20 to 30 witnesses on the subway.”

The incident has raised concerns over the decision for the train to continue moving until the next stop instead of stopping right away to address the problem, and keeping passengers inside once again as the train was waiting at its stop. Mayor Bloomberg defended the Metro Transit Authority’s decision saying, “Letting everybody run in every direction and have a murderer back on the streets doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

 

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