A Syrian immigrant who was hailed as a hero after assisting New York City cops in apprehending the suspect in this week’s mass subway shooting reflected on the aftermath, saying it reminded him of Syria’s civil war.
Zakaria Tahhan, 21, told Anadolu Agency that he initially saw the suspect’s picture on TV and then alerted police after seeing him in person while on the job.
When the Syrian crisis broke out in 2011, Tahhan was 13 years old, and his family moved to neighboring Turkiye, which has absorbed in more than 4 million Syrian migrants, and then to the United States.
Saying that he has been living in New Jersey and working for a company that installs security systems, he told how he saw the subway shooter in Manhattan, where he and his colleagues came to install security cameras at a store.
“I was out getting some tools from the car. My cousin and the store manager were with me,” he said, adding that he had heard the suspect was nearby, getting food.
Despite seeing the suspect on TV that morning, Tahhan later examined the suspect’s picture on the internet.
He responded, “It was the same individual as in the photo.”
Later, Tahhan approached a police car parked at a stoplight and informed the cops that he had spotted the culprit.
He felt the same emotions as when he first saw civilians slain in Syria when he watched the persons who were shot and wounded in the subway.
“How can you do this to individuals when they have families and children?” he said.
Officials confirmed Wednesday that Frank James, the man accused of opening fire in a crowded New York City subway vehicle on Tuesday, has been apprehended and charged with a terror-related violation
According to authorities, the uspect donned a gas mask before taking two gas canisters from a bag and opening them, filling a subway car with smoke before opening fire.
In all, officials said, 33 shots were fired during the pandemonium that ensued. Nearly 30 people were injured by gunshots, smoke inhalation, or injuries sustained while attempting to flee.