Attorneys for suspect in fatal NYC subway shooting urge against ‘rushing to judgment’

Lawyers at The Legal Aid Society claim Andrew Abdullah was ambushed by police before he could voluntarily surrender.

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Law enforcement officials have confirmed that Andrew Abdullah, the 25-year-old man accused of randomly killing another New York City subway train passenger on Sunday, has been arrested, according to NBC-affiliated News 4.

His attorneys at The Legal Aid Society, though, are pushing back against Abdullah’s apprehension, claiming he was ambushed Tuesday by police before he could surrender. Law enforcement sources said his surrender had been arranged by an area clergy member, but Abdullah reportedly didn’t appear as planned. He was arrested in lower Manhattan walking toward Legal Aid Society’s office, they contend.

Andrew Abdullah, the 25-year-old man accused of randomly killing another NYC subway passenger on Sunday, is shown being brought in after his arrest on Tuesday. (Photo: Screenshot/NBCNewYork.com)

“Before Andrew Abdullah could voluntarily surrender himself to the local precinct, he was needlessly ambushed out front of our Manhattan Trial Office by law enforcement, denied of his opportunity to first consult with counsel,” the organization said in a statement, per News 4. “Since last night, we have been actively speaking with the New York Police Department and the New York County District Attorney’s Office to negotiate his surrender, and what transpired today was completely inappropriate and unwarranted given those conversations.”

Abdullah should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, they maintained, emphasizing that he should be given the chance to work with lawyers on his defense, as is his right.

“At this preliminary moment in the case, we caution New Yorkers from rushing to judgment, as we are just beginning our investigation and reviewing evidence. Mr. Abdullah deserves vigorous representation from his defense counsel and that is what The Legal Aid Society will provide,” the statement read.

Police said at a press conference late Tuesday that they hadn’t been able to find a motive but noted that Abdullah is a gang member who has faced assault, robbery, attempted murder and other gun charges dating all the way back to 2016. 

According to News 4, witnesses said Abdullah was walking through the Q train and muttering to himself before he shot 48-year-old Daniel Enriquez, who was en route to Sunday brunch, as the train moved over the Manhattan Bridge.

Abdullah reportedly got off the train and gave his weapon to a homeless man.

“Daniel Enriquez was a dedicated and beloved member of the Goldman Sachs family for nine years,” Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said in a statement. “He worked diligently to support our Macro Research team in New York and epitomized our culture of collaboration and excellence. We are devastated by this senseless tragedy and our deepest sympathies are with Dan’s family at this difficult time.”

Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted another man, Frank James, of firing shots in a New York City subway train in April. 

The 62-year-old was charged with committing an act of terrorism and violence against a mass transportation system, and with using a gun during a violent crime. 

James was accused of driving from Philadelpia to Brooklyn, discharging smoke bombs and shooting into a subway train full of commuters. He reportedly also gave police his whereabouts before he was arrested, per the AP.

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