Hourari Benkada Wiki
Hourari Benkada Biography
Who is Hourari Benkada ?
Survivors of Tuesday morning’s subway attack in Brooklyn described how they sat next to the gunman as he pulled an ax and gun from his duffel bag before throwing a smoke grenade and firing 33 shots, leaving 10 people injured. with gunshot wounds.
A witness said the suspect said “Oops, my mistake,” as he opened one of his gas tanks and filled the subway car with smoke when he was between stations, before drawing his weapons and opening fire.
A multi-state manhunt is now underway for Frank James, 62, who is a “person of interest” in the attack, with police offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Police said the keys found at the crime scene belong to an abandoned U-Haul truck in Brooklyn that was rented by James. He also made “troubling” threats against New York City Mayor Eric Adams and criticized the city’s homeless crisis in social media posts.
Passenger Fitim Gjeloshi said he remembers the harrowing moment when the gunman, who is still at large, decided to fill the subway car with smoke before opening fire.
“I looked at him and thought he was talking to himself for a while, so I looked at him and said, ‘This guy must be on drugs,'” he told the New York Post.
‘When [the train] was about to reach 36th Street, we stopped for 5 minutes. He pulls a gas mask out of one of his little bags. He opened one of his gas tanks and said, ‘Oops, my mistake.’ He pulls out an axe, drops it, pulls out a gun and starts shooting.
‘A guy gets shot right next to me. He says, “Help! Help!” Gjeloshi said. ‘I tell someone to help him, cover the blood for him. I jump up, hit the door and kick it with my leg.
Terrified passengers tried to get out of the car where the gunman was shooting at passengers, but the door was locked. As the train pulled into the 36th Street station in Sunset Park, injured passengers were seen sprawled on the floor that was stained with blood as the gunman fled.
At least 23 people were injured in the attack, but no casualties have been reported. Police said 10 people were directly hit by gunfire, five of them hospitalized in critical but stable condition, while 13 others suffered from respiratory distress or were injured in the crush of desperate passengers fleeing the smoke-filled subway car.
Hourari Benkada, 27, another shooting survivor recovering in hospital after being shot in the knee, said he sat right next to the gunman who went to shoot him and nine others.
Benkada is “shocked” and “trembling” and doesn’t know if he will be able to ride the subway again, as he has seen an increase in crime in recent months.
“He was on the 59th street on the R train transferring to the N train on the 59th, so it was the first car, the last seats.
“I’m not really paying attention to it, so I just walk in. I sat down and the guy was right next to me, and all you see is a black smoke bomb that goes off and then people run back.” Benkada told CNN’s John Berman.
He stopped to help a pregnant woman and was pushed by the panicked crowd. He was shot behind his right knee, but doctors expect him to walk on his own after several weeks on crutches.
Benkada, 27, a housekeeping manager at the New Yorker hotel, said he sat next to the gunman who had a duffel bag and MTA vest.
The morning traveler says that he doesn’t remember many details because he was distracted and using his headset. He says the gunman was wearing a mask, so he couldn’t compare him to James, the NYPD’s person of interest.
Benkada said he was “shaking” during Tuesday’s CNN interview, conducted via FaceTime as he recovers in the hospital. “I don’t even know how I’m holding my phone,” he said.
He remembers the black smoke and the people running backwards.
‘My God, I’m pregnant,’ a woman told him. Benkada hugged her and was then shot in the back of the knee as she tried to run away.
He says the shooting felt like it took more than a minute.
“It sounded like the loudest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” he said, calling the injury “the worst pain of my entire life.”
‘We were trying to break down the door, and the train took forever to get to the station. Once it opened on 36th Street, I felt a lot of pain,” Benkada said in a separate interview with the New York Daily News.
A bullet hit him in the back of the knee and exited the other side. Doctors told her he grazed his kneecap, but he is expected to recover after several weeks on crutches.
“I was so shaken that the pain didn’t hit me until afterwards,” he said on CNN.
He said that he managed to walk up a flight of stairs by himself.
‘All the policemen who walked past me just ignored me. They were just thinking, maybe, ‘Focus on the shooter.’
Benkada said he told the confused worker at the booth that he needed “a lot of napkins” because he was bleeding.
‘After five or 10 minutes, two firefighters helped me onto their shoulders,’ he said. “I was so shocked, I just wanted to get out of there after hearing all those shots.”
Some injured passengers collapsed as they plunged onto the 36th Street station platform. All of the victims were expected to survive their injuries, police said.
Another passenger, Fitim Gjeloshi, says he remembers the moment the gunman pulled out the smoke bomb and said, ‘Wow, my mistake.’
Gjeloshi says the gunman started shooting and was narrowly missed by a bullet. He showed the Daily News a photo of a bullet hole that went through his pants without hitting his right groin area.
He remembers jumping on seats and yelling at people to switch cars, but the door at the end wouldn’t work. He says that he ‘kicked the door handle and broke it.
“I think he planned it on purpose because he knew exactly what he was doing,” Gjeloshi said.
The New York Fire Department says it treated a total of 17 people, 15 who were taken to area hospitals and two at the scene. A teenager was shot in the thumb.
“It was a pretty devastating injury to the thumb and it destroyed a lot of the bone, the joint, the tendons, the nerves can save the thumb and he’s alive.” And he will need more surgery,” said surgeon Jack Choueka of the Maimonides Medical Center in nearby Borough Park.
“He’s expected to have a pretty functional hand and cosmetically it should look great.” So we’re not completely out of the woods with his hand, but we’re very happy with tonight’s results,” Dr. Choueka said.
Police named James as a ‘person of interest’ in the attack, with the FBI now joining the search for him and armed police units patrolling Brooklyn for any leads on his whereabouts.
The manhunt initially focused on a U-Haul truck found hours after the attack parked on a Brooklyn street five miles from the scene. James is believed to have rented the vehicle in Philadelphia before driving it to New York City.
Police said they recovered the truck key at the crime scene and that James had addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin. They’re looking into his ties to New York.
A federal law enforcement source told Newsweek that the suspect was previously known to the FBI, as he had entered the Guardian Lead system in New Mexico.
The system is the FBI’s way of coordinating information from other law enforcement partners about potential terrorism-related threats and suspicious activity reports. He was acquitted after multiple interviews in 2019.
The federal law enforcement source said he is believed to have driven to New York from New Mexico.
“We’re trying to determine if he has any connection to the train,” said NYPD Detective Chief James Essig. We know that Mr. James rented that U-Haul truck in Philadelphia.
New York Police Chief Keechant Sewell said they recovered from the scene a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, extended magazines, an axe, gasoline, consumer fireworks and a hobby fuse.
“We still don’t know the motivation of the suspect,” Sewell said.
Sewell said James made troubling social media posts about homelessness in New York City and threats to Mayor Eric Adams. As a result, Adams’ security was tightened.
Hourari Benkada Quick and Facts
- Hourari Benkada, 27, sat next to the man with a duffel bag and MTA vest before Tuesday’s subway attack
- He remembers the gunman releasing a smoke bomb that sent a crowd ‘bum-rushing’ to one end of the cart
- He was helping a pregnant woman before a bullet pierced the back of his knee and went out through the side
- Another passenger says he saw the gunman talking to himself ‘for a while’ and thought he could be on drugs
- Fitim Gjeloshi says the gunman said, ‘Oops, my bad,’ before shrouding the cart in black smoke and firing
- Police say he fired 33 shots, hitting 10 passengers and reportedly sending 29 people in total to area hospitals
- The NYPD has released photos of person of interest Frank James, who’s made videos criticizing Mayor Adams
- Police found keys at the crime scene belonging to a U-Haul in Philadelphia that was rented by James
- No one was killed and no one has been arrested after Tuesday morning’s attack, which comes as subway crimes continue to rise in the Big Apple