'I don't want to be in New York' - NYC Subway shooting witness speaks out

Thursday's shooting on the New York City subway was a terrifying, traumatic experience for commuters. And while the NYPD says it is a rare incident, one woman who spoke to FOX 5 NY says that it was all she needed to live through to never want to ride the subway again.

"I don't want to be in New York," said Sherri Paul. "I don't see myself in New York if I have to ride the train, taking the bus. I don't think it's safe for me."

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Paul was one of the passengers on the northbound A train when a 36-year-old man began randomly acting aggressively towards a 32-year-old man.

Paul was able to record the incident on her phone. 

According to Paul, as the train neared the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, the 32-year-old man tried to ignore the 36-year-old as he appeared mentally ill. However, she says the 36-year-old continued acting aggressively, arguing and physically attacking the victim. 

Paul says the victim's female companion tried to intervene, pulling out a knife and stabbing the attacker, but the 36-year-old man had a gun and brandished it at the 32-year-old man and his companion, sending terrified riders running to the other end of the train.

"Everyone asking for help, some of them calling 9-1-1, some of them screaming, some of them hugging each other, saying ‘there’s a baby in the car, there's a baby in the car!'" Paul said.

RELATED: Inside the NYPD crackdown on subway fare evaders in search of violent criminals

As the situation escalated, the 32-year-old was able to grab the gun out of the attacker's hand and open fire, shooting four rounds, one of which struck the 36-year-old man in the head.

Paul says she was trampled by terrified commuters trying to escape the car, as police on the platform quickly entered the train.

The 36-year-old man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The 32-year-old was taken into custody, but on Friday the Brooklyn DA's office cited "evidence of self-defense" as the reason why he would not be charged at this time.


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"I am very afraid," Paul said. "I'm not getting on the subway."

The 36-year-old man allegedly had evaded the fare before getting on the train. Police say when they catch fare evaders, they do a warrant check to see if the person is a repeat offender. If they have a warrant, they are placed under arrest and searched.