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Subway Killing Suspect Told Riders to Put Phones Away, Prosecutor Says

A Brooklyn man charged in the unprovoked killing of a Q train rider last weekend instructed other passengers to “put their cellphones away” after the fatal shooting, a Manhattan prosecutor told a judge on Wednesday.

The man, Andrew Abdullah, 25, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of the rider, Daniel Enriquez, on Sunday. Appearing in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday, Mr. Abdullah was ordered held without bail by Judge Jonathan Svetkey.

The killing of Mr. Enriquez, 48, came amid a recent spate of mass shootings around the country and about six weeks after at least 23 subway riders were injured when a gunman opened fire on an N train in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors used the court appearance on Wednesday to provide some new details about the events surrounding Mr. Enriquez’s death. Nicole Blumberg, an assistant district attorney, said Mr. Abdullah had committed “a deliberate and unprovoked attack.”

Witnesses have said Mr. Abdullah was pacing and muttering in the car as it crossed the Manhattan Bridge toward the Canal Street station. Then, according to prosecutors, he shot Mr. Enriquez in the chest with a pistol.

Ms. Blumberg described the fear among other riders in the train’s last car that they would be targeted next.

“After hearing the gunshot, the other passengers ran to the sides of the train and hid, praying for the life of their fellow passenger and hoping they would not be the defendant’s next victims,” she said.

Andrew Abdullah, who has been charged in the killing, after he was arrested on Tuesday.Credit…Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times

Mr. Abdullah ordered the passengers to “put their cellphones away” and to exit the train at the Canal Street stop, Ms. Blumberg said. Then, she said, as passengers, transit employees and emergency services workers tried to resuscitate Mr. Enriquez, Mr. Abdullah executed an “exit strategy.”

He abandoned his 9-millimeter pistol and the dark sweatshirt he had been wearing, Ms. Blumberg said. After leaving the station, he bought a hat and a backpack at a nearby store to change his appearance, and then walked what she called a “zigzag” route to avoid a police manhunt in Lower Manhattan. He was arrested on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Mr. Abdullah, stood stoically in the courtroom wearing a white mask, gray shirt and light blue pants. Kristin Bruan, the Legal Aid Society lawyer representing him, asked Judge Svetkey to ensure that her client receive “medical and psychiatric attention.”

“Tensions are running high right now in the city, and now is the time to make sure our civil liberties are protected,” Ms. Bruan said outside the courthouse.

Ms. Blumberg said Mr. Abdullah faces 25 years to life if he is convicted of killing Mr. Enriquez, a Goldman Sachs employee who was the eldest of five siblings and a beloved uncle.

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