RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The chaotic subway attack involving a gunman opening fire on a train in New York City sent 29 people to the hospital with at least ten shot. Families around the country were checking in on loved ones in the area to ensure their safety.
A man from Richmond lives just blocks away from the subway station where the attack happened. Matt Koval described how he was jarred from his sleep by all of the chaos that ensued.
“Helicopters, sirens, everything else — it was crazy,” he said.
Koval said, when everything that was going on outside woke him up, he turned on his TV to see the breaking news and was alarmed. He took a walk to the subway station to see for himself.
“I’m infinitely curious and it is so close,” he said. “Getting all the text messages from people in Richmond and from afar, that was comforting and felt good.”
What doesn’t feel good, Koval said, is how easy it seemed someone could commit this crime.
“You have a better chance of getting arrested for jumping the turnstile than getting arrested for having a smoke bomb or gun on the train,” he said.
Dana Schrad with the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police said the first step in protecting yourself against something like this is remaining aware of your surroundings.
“If you see someone who looks out of place for some reason, trust your instincts, contact 9-1-1 and get yourself to a safe place,” Schrad said.
She offered three steps you should take if you find yourself confronted with mass violence on a train or anywhere else.
“First, run. Second, hide. Third, as a last resort, fight,” she said.
Despite this incident, Koval said he will continue to ride the subway.
Authorities recommend signing up for alerts from your local law enforcement agencies so you can stay informed in the unfortunate event of a situation like this.