NEW YORK — A young woman pushed a man to his death under an oncoming train at the 40th Street-Lowery Street subway station in Queens on Thursday evening, law enforcement authorities said.
The woman got up from her seat, walked behind the man along the platform, mumbling to herself, witnesses told the police, before shoving him into the path of a No.7 train just after 8 p.m. Witnesses said the victim did not appear to notice her.
The man, whom the police have not yet identified, was pushed with little time to avoid the hurtling locomotive, or for others to come to his aid, said Paul J. Browne, the chief police spokesman. His body remained under the second car, which officers from the Emergency Services Unit planned to lift using specialist inflatable bags to recover his remains.
''We haven't determined whether it was random or if there was some connection yet,” Browne said, “but there was nothing from what the witnesses could see to indicate that they knew each other and he did not, according to the witnesses, appear to realize that she was approaching.”
The woman, whom the police described as Hispanic, in her early 20s and heavyset, fled on Queens Boulevard and was being sought by police officers in the area.
She was wearing a blue, white and gray ski jacket, the police said, and gray Nike sneakers. Outside the elevated station on Thursday night, multiple police vehicles gathered, and local residents braved frigid conditions to huddle on corners and discuss the act of violence in their midst.
Investigators were unable to immediately determine much about the victim beyond his gender, Browne said. “The body is very badly damaged and making it difficult to make those kind of judgments,” he added.
He said the police were hoping to gather evidence from surveillance cameras used by local businesses.
The No. 7 line was shut down between Court Square and 61 Street-Woodside Avenue, said Deirdre Parker, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and would reopen only when the police had concluded their investigations on the scene.
It is the second time this month that a man has been killed after being pushed onto the subway tracks. Ki-Suck Han, 58, of Elmhurst, Queens, died under the Q train at the 49th Street and Seventh Avenue station in early December. Naeem Davis, 30, has been charged with second-degree murder in that case. A lawyer for Davis said that his client had been trying to push Han away after an altercation.