Teen shot dead on subway ahead of NYC mayor’s ‘no headphones’ advice, another man shoved onto tracks

Subway crime in New York City continues to escalate despite Mayor Eric Adams’ suggestion that subway riders simply not wear headphones or play with their phone to avoid becoming the next batch of injured or even deceased victims.

One of the more recent heinous acts of criminality occurred on Oct. 14th, when two groups of black teens aboard a subway train began fighting. During the altercation, one of the teens opened fire, striking and killing 15-year-old Jayjon Burnett.

“Jayjon Burnett was gunned down Friday during a dispute between two groups that turned deadly after someone aboard the train called for reinforcements. … The killer and a second man boarded the train at the Beach 25th St. station, one stop away from its final stop,” the New York Daily News reported on Saturday, Oct. 15th.

“As the A train reached the end of the line, one of the new arrivals pulled a gun and fired a bullet into Jayjon Burnett’s chest before they bolted from the Far Rockaway/Mott Ave. stop around 3:45 p.m.,” the Daily News added.

A suspect, 18-year-old Keyondre Russell, was arrested soon after but ultimately not indicted on murder charges for reasons that remain unclear.

“[A] grand jury Friday only indicted him on the weapons possession charges as well as two counts of tampering with physical evidence and two counts of menacing,” the New York Post confirmed this Saturday.

Burnett’s family was reportedly left devastated.

“They’re not charging my son’s murderer with murder. I want justice for my son,” his father, Jeff, reportedly said.

Exactly a week after Burnett’s tragic murder, Mayor Adams appeared on a local radio show, where he proceeded to recommend that subway riders pay closer attention to what’s happening around them to avoid being victimized.

It’s important, he said, that subway riders not be “having your iPods in” and not be “focusing on the phone.”

“I do the same, and we put out a video and information telling people about being aware of what’s around them and what’s taking place. I encourage New Yorkers to do that,” Adams added.

Critics slammed the advice, arguing that he ought to be doing more to fight crime versus just offering generic advice that really won’t make that much of a difference.

If anything, critics felt like the headphones/phone suggestion was a subtle way of the mayor blaming crime victims for their own victimization.


It appears Adams’ critics had a point because crime has continued to flourish on NYC’s subway trains in the days following his remarks.

In fact, one crime occurred that very same day.

“An unhinged stranger attacked a random straphanger inside a Brooklyn subway station, catapulting his victim onto the tracks as a group of terrified children stood watching, police said Saturday,” according to the Daily News.

“David Martin, 32, suffered a fractured collarbone when a violent shove from behind sent him flying Friday afternoon, with his sister saying the victim was deeply traumatized by the unprovoked attack while headed to work at an Upper East Side restaurant.”

Watch (*Graphic content):

In fairness to Adams, a day after he made his headphones/phone remark, he put his money where his mouth is by announcing a real plan to address crime.

Speaking alongside Gov. Kathy Hochul, the pair announced new “initiatives” to combat subway crime, including a surge of “approximately 1,200 additional overtime officer shifts each day on the subway — equating to approximately 10,000 additional overtime patrol hours every day,” according to a press release from Adams’ office.

“This effort will help with two things New Yorkers desperately want: The addition of hundreds of additional strategically deployed officers on our trains and help to those suffering from serious mental health illness so they can find a way out of the subway system,” Adams said in a statement.

“We must address both the perception and reality of safety, and the expanded partnership we are announcing today with Governor Hochul will do just that while building off the successes of our Subway Safety Plan. The bottom line is that riders will see more officers in the system, and so will those thinking of breaking the law. On behalf of all New Yorkers, we’re thankful for this state investment that will make our subways safer,” he added.


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Vivek Saxena


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