“Faulty Fans” Caused Security Cameras to Cut Out During Brooklyn Subway Shooting
By Yehudit Garmaise
“Faulty fans” caused the malfunctions of several security cameras installed at the 25th Street, 36th Street, and 45th Street subway stations, which were the scenes of the crime on April 12, when Frank James opened a canister of smoke before opening fire in a crowded morning subway car, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials said.
When New York congressional representatives demanded to know why the video feeds were down, MTA CEO Janno Lieber wrote them to say that transit crews had started working on April 7 to fix the faulty fans, which he said did not affect the subway surveillance feeds until April 11.
The cameras’ surveillance feed cut out “less than 24 hours” before James allegedly fired 33 shots into a subway car that pulling into the platform, wounding 29 people, Leiber said, the New York Post reported.
“Technicians replaced the fan unit on the morning of April 8, but the network diagnostics still indicated a problem,” wrote Lieber. “MTA technicians made a series of repairs in an effort to correct the issue, and on the morning of Monday, April 11, as technicians were installing new communication hardware, the camera failed.”
Without the crucial video footage, James slipped away, undetected, to board the train across the platform from the chaos he had just unleashed.
Lieber and his team have defended the camera malfunction as a rare occurrence that has been repaired and was offset by 36 other MTA video feeds NYPD officers used in their manhunt for James.
NYPD officers, and New Yorkers as well, searched for James for more than 24 hours, before Zach Tahhan, who ironically was working at his job to install surveillance video cameras in NYC businesses, spotted the suspect on April 13 in East Greenwich Village in Manhattan, where the suspect was arrested.