Authorities Monitoring Developments Following New York Shooting


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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Police stepped up their presence on Southland transit lines and stations today in response to a shooting at a New York subway station that left at least 29 people injured, although Metro officials stressed there were ``no credible threats to the Metro system in Los Angeles County.''

``We're in contact with our local, state and federal partners, and as always, providing high visibility patrols throughout the city, including bus and rail stations,'' Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said in a statement.

Moore, appearing on KNX Newsradio Tuesday morning, stressed there was no indication of any local threat to transit lines, but said police were increasing their visibility as a precautionary step, noting there is always a threat of a ``copycat'' assailant when such high-profile crimes occur elsewhere.

He said transit riders will likely see additional uniformed officers and canine units.

Metro issued a statement saying there are ``no credible threats to the Metro system in Los Angeles County and Metro is operating normal service. Metro, however, is on heightened alert and is working with its security partners at the local, state and national levels to monitor threat levels and share information. Safety is Metro's top priority. As a precaution, Metro will be deploying additional security personnel at transit stations in Los Angeles County.''

Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins urged riders to remain vigilant.

``We take the security of our transit customers and employees extremely seriously and we are on constant lookout for all types of security threats,'' she said in a statement. ``Safety is everyone's job and our number one priority. We again urge everyone to be aware of their surroundings and be vigilant on our system and in any public space.''

The agency urged anyone who sees something suspicious to call 888-950-SAFE (7233), text 213-788-2777 or use the Transit Watch app.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said his thoughts and prayers are with those injured during the shooting.

``@LASDHQ offers our deepest condolences to the families touched by tragedy of this senseless shooting while reaffirming our commitment to protect our residents,'' Villanueva posted on social media.

The Long Beach Police Department tweeted, ``We are aware of a shooting incident in a Brooklyn Substation from earlier this morning. At this time, there are no known threats to the City of Long Beach, however out of an abundance of caution, we will be providing increased patrols throughout the city.''

At least 29 people were shot or injured when a suspected lone gunman in a vest and possibly wearing a gas mask threw smoke bombs on a subway car in Brooklyn and began shooting Tuesday morning. Authorities say at least 10 were shot.

The suspect remained at large, with New York police later saying they were searching for a 62-year-old man named Frank R. James as a person of interest after finding a U-Haul van linked to his name. James has addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia.

In response to the shooting, Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino introduced a motion Tuesday asking for reports from Metro, the LAPD and city transportation officials on efforts to curtail violent crime on transit systems.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted Tuesday afternoon, ``The pain felt after today's attack in New York City is shared by people across the country. In the face of darkness, New Yorkers reached out their hands to help their neighbors and found strength through one another.

`Los Angeles stands in solidarity with New York as we hope for justice for those affected by this tragedy.''

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