Raymond Chiodini, a freelance photographer, was waiting to get onto a subway train car for his morning commute when he witnessed dozens of people running from a subway car with smoke pouring out of it.
“One of the first things I saw was a man bleeding out on the platform. Among you know, 10 or 15 other people he was just the one closest to me,” Chiodini said on “Morning in America.” “I just grabbed him by his hoodie and threw him into my carts just to get him out of foot traffic. “
Passengers wept and prayed as they rode away from the scene, one witness told the Associated Press.
Chiodini then started taking photos of the chaos.
“After I had assessed there was no immediate threat. I pulled out the camera,” Chiodini said. “I just went to work because unfortunately, it’s what I do.”
The shooting is another searing reminder of the city’s battle with gun violence and the specter of terror-like attacks that hangs over New York City — particularly the subway system that is its transportation backbone. But for Chiodini, life must go on despite the heartbreak and chaos captured in his photographs.
“I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m gonna be incredibly hesitant to get back on that train tomorrow morning,” Chiodini said. “But if I’d like to keep my job, it’s that’s just the way it’s gonna go. It’s my commute.”
In the hours after the shooting, with the gunman still on the loose, other commuters like Julia Brown had little choice but to keep riding the rails.
“It’s the only way to get home — other than the express bus and then another bus and then another bus,” said Brown, who works in Manhattan. “I lived through 9/11. I lived through the blackout. You just have to be as safe as you can, and just be mindful around your environment.”
“Throughout the day, I was very emotional because as a mom, you know, he was physically OK. But mentally, it was very traumatic,” Chiodini’s mom, Lisa Lynch, said. “Going through that for six hours was very tough for me. But when I did see him, I think we hugged for about 10 minutes.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.