NEW YORK — A 32-year-old man died after he was stabbed in the neck on a subway train as it entered Penn Station early Sunday morning, the NYPD said.
Akeem Loney, a Manhattan resident, was stabbed in an unprovoked attack on a northbound 2 train around 12:17 a.m., police said. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to police.
"It is very early in that investigation and we're not leaning in any direction," said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea at Mayor Bill de Blasio's daily news briefing on Monday. "We have a long way to go and a lot to learn about what exactly took place that night."
The male suspect fled the scene and hadn't been arrested as of Sunday night, police said. He was last seen wearing a white baseball hat, a black face mask, a grey jacket, a white shirt with an orange and black checkered hood, black pants and black shoes, according to police.
The NYPD said there were witnesses present during the attack, but no bystanders intervened.
"This is an absolutely horrible crime," an MTA spokesperson said in a statement. "We are working with the NYPD and will do everything possible to cooperate with their search for this perpetrator, and help make sure our subways are safe."
The incident left transit riders concerned about their own safety.
“I don’t feel safe. I always see my surrounding because it’s not easy. There needs to be more police,” rider Marisela Garcia said.
Mayor de Blasio called it a "horrible incident" on Monday and said he understood why attacks like this give people pause regarding the subway.
"But I want to at the same time say of course it's true perception and reality both matter," he said at his press briefing regarding overall crime on the subway. "I am in the camp that believes reality is the single most important thing. The single most important thing is the facts on the ground."
The mayor pointed to the recent surge in NYPD presence on the subway system and said it's led to a reduction of crime on the subway compared to last year.
While officials said there is already an increased police presence on subway trains, several transit riders said they would be happy to see more officers.
“I want to ride the train that I pay $2.75 for in peace. Who’s going to support that?" one transit rider said. "There are a lot of people that work and need to get to where they’re going safely and be in a state of mind where they can do a job."
The mayor also said climbing ridership numbers will help the threat of crime.
"As more and more law-abiding people are around on the streets, in the subways, that also creates a safer condition, gets us back to where we were pre-pandemic where there was literally one crime per million riders," he said.
Officials urged anyone who heard or saw anything related to the incident to contact the NYPD.