Detectives are investigating two deadly stabbings on the opposite ends of the A line in Queens and Manhattan within a span of two hours between Friday night and Saturday morning.
Police sources said they are investigating a possible link between the two cases as well as a pair of additional stabbings that occurred on Feb. 12-13 at the 181st Street station on the A line in Washington Heights. The victims in those cases are expected to survive their injuries.
During a Saturday afternoon press conference at One Police Plaza, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that the NYPD would add 500 officers throughout the subway system immediately to increase safety. Detectives, meanwhile, are working around the clock looking for possible suspects and are seeking tips from the public.
The first victim, an unidentified man, was found stabbed while seated on board A train at the Mott Avenue station in Far Rockaway, Queens at about 11:20 p.m. on Feb. 12.
Officers from the NYPD Transit District 23 and the 101st Precinct discovered the man on a bench inside one of the train cars with stab wounds to his torso and neck.
Responding EMS units pronounced the victim dead at the scene. Police have not yet disclosed his identity, pending family notification.
Two hours later, cops in Manhattan responded to the fatal stabbing of a woman on board an A train that stopped at the West 207th Street in Inwood — the line’s northern terminus — at about 1:21 a.m. on Feb. 13.
The discovery was made during the nightly overnight closure period of the entire subway system, when train cars are disinfected to guard against the spread of COVID-19.
Cops from NYPD Transit District 3 and the 34th Precinct, while responding to a 911 call, found the 44-year-old woman under the seats on board one of the train cars with several stab wounds to her body.
EMS units also pronounced her dead at the scene. The NYPD has withheld her identity, pending family notification.
So far, no arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation.
In a joint statement, interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg and Transport Worker Union Local 100 President Tony Utano called upon the NYPD to immediately boost police presence on the subway system following “recent horrifying attacks.”
“The recent horrifying attacks in the subway system are outrageous and unacceptable. Every customer, and each of our brave, heroic transit workers deserve a safe and secure transit system,” Feinberg and Utano said. “We have been calling on the city to add more police to the system, and to do more to assist those who desperately need mental health assistance. The time for action is now. We are demanding that additional resources be put into the system to address this challenge immediately. Our hearts go out to the victims, as we cooperate with active investigations and urge prosecutors to pursue maximum penalties for perpetrators.”
The incident caused some service disruptions along the A train, with all service between Broad Channel and Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue suspended for a time on Saturday morning due to the ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information about the stabbings can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.
This story first appeared on amny.com.