MTA workers honored at City Hall for rescue efforts in subway shooting

Seven transit workers who helped passengers after Tuesday’s subway shooting were honored at City Hall Friday by Mayor Eric Adams, who presented them with a plaque from City Hall stating that the 15 April is their day.

“This week, New York City showed the world what our city is all about and has always stood for courage, heroism, quick thinking and decisive action,” said Adams, who called for distance due to his diagnosis of COVID-19. “When our city was attacked Tuesday morning, you risked real danger to save the lives of ordinary New Yorkers. I want to thank every MTA employee.

MTA personnel have been hailed as heroes for their role in the rescue effort after suspected shooter Frank James lit a smoke grenade and opened fire on a Manhattan-bound train in Sunset Park, shooting at least ten people and injuring nearly 20 others on Tuesday morning. Workers were praised for keeping trains moving and helping passengers injured in the attack.

Parla Mejia was one of the honored workers. She was a bus driver who took passengers, including many students, onto her bus after the shooting. She said she remained calm on Tuesday, even though her runners weren’t.

“They were traumatized, they were crying, they were running, they were everywhere. So I advised them, if you want, to call your parents, give your parents my name, give them the bus number, the direction we are going.

Dayron Williams was operating a southbound R train that stopped at 25th Street on Tuesday, along with a northbound R train, containing multiple victims shot at the same station. Williams said he calmly informed passengers that there had been an incident at 36th Street and that everyone should leave the station.

“I got everyone out safely, evacuated the train, went back down to make sure everyone was completely out,” he said. While Williams said he’s evacuated passengers in the past for other reasons, he’s never done so after a shooting.

There were two other workers involved who did not attend the ceremony at City Hall, including the train operator in the subway where the shooting took place, and the operator who evacuated passengers from the 36th Street station on the R train – which was across the platform from the N train where the shooting took place.

Conductor David Artis, who was not present on Friday, was driving the N train when the shooting began. He told the Daily News that he was the first person to call the incident to the MTA Railroad Control Center, even as passengers tapped into his cab trying to get more information. He said it was lucky no one pulled the emergency cord, so the train had a chance to stop and be evacuated.

“This was an active shooter situation, and the conductors and perpetrators of the trains were taking matters into their own hands, doing what was necessary to get the passengers out of harm’s way. At all times they were directing passengers, making announcements, moving their trains, taking the police into the tunnel to search for the shooter, or communicating with the rail control center and emergency responders,” said the Secretary-Treasurer and Transport Workers Union Local 100 Security. Director Earl Phillips said Friday at City Hall. “They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well I saw a photo on social media that says everything you need to know about how TWU Local 100 conductors and train operators stepped up after gunfire broke out on train N.

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