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A straphanger told The New York Post he came face to face with the mass shooter who opened fire on a crowded subway Tuesday — and was targeted by the mumbling madman first.
Subway rider Fitim Gjeloshi recalled how he was on the Manhattan-bound N train just before 8:30 a.m. in Brooklyn when he noticed the suspect sitting in the corner, muttering to himself.
“I looked at him, and I thought to myself he was talking to himself for like awhile, so I looked at him, and I was like, this guy must be on drugs,” Gjeloshi said outside the 72nd Precinct in Sunset Park after talking to cops Tuesday afternoon.
When the train briefly stopped underground after leaving the 59th Street station, the suspect suddenly whipped out a gas mask, Gjeloshi said.
“When [the train] was about to hit 36th Street, we stopped for 5 minutes. He takes out a gas mask from one of his little luggage[s],” the witness said.
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“He opened one of his gas tanks, and he said, ‘Oops, my bad.’ He pulls out an ax, he drops it, he takes a gun out, he starts shooting.”
The rider claimed that the suspect shot at him first, but he managed to dodge the bullet and emerge unscathed.
“One guy gets shot right next to me. He says, ‘Help! Help!’” Gjeloshi said. “I tell some person to help him out, cover the blood for him. I jump over, I bang the door and I kicked it with my leg,” Gjeloshi said.
By the time the train pulled into the 36th Street station, the car was littered with wounded New Yorkers bleeding from the suspect’s barrage of bullets.
In all, 10 people were shot and another 19 wounded, officials said. Miraculously, no one suffered life-threatening injuries.
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Law-enforcement sources said the suspect’s 9mm Glock apparently jammed amid the bloodshed, preventing more casualties.
“I got lucky with it. … It was crazy, man,” Gjeloshi said, adding he was “scared.”
The unidentified suspect is still on the lam.