Reuven Fenton et al., New York Post, May 24, 2022
The career criminal sought in the subway shooting death of Goldman Sachs employee Daniel Enriquez last weekend was busted by cops Tuesday, as a minister and his attorneys were negotiating his surrender at a Chinatown stationhouse, according to police sources and his lawyers.
Andrew Abdullah, 25, was hit with second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the 11:42 a.m. shooting aboard a Manhattan-bound Q train on Sunday morning, police said at a briefing.
Abdullah sought to turn himself in to Mayor Eric Adams in negotiations through a Brooklyn bishop — who showed up at the 5th Precinct in a Rolls Royce Tuesday afternoon. But he was instead nabbed by cops at the Legal Aid Society offices in Manhattan when the talks were going on, police sources and the society said.
Abdullah had been on the lam since the Sunday morning shooting on the last car of the train.
At a press briefing Tuesday, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said the gunman was “pacing back and forth inside the train car muttering to himself” before the shooting.
“The only distinguishable words heard were, ‘no phones,’” Essig said. “The male suddenly and without any prior interactions or provocation walked up to our victim… and shot him one time in the chest.”
Abdullah was initially identified as a person of interest in shooting by sources earlier this week, before his surrender and charging Tuesday.
After his bust, Abdullah’s lawyers complained about how he was while negotiations were still going on.
“Before Andrew Abdullah could voluntarily surrender himself to the local precinct, he was needlessly ambushed out front of our Manhattan trial office by City Marshals, denied of his opportunity to first consult with counsel,” legal aid said in a statement.
“Since last night we have been actively speaking with the New York Police Department and the New York County District Attorney’s Office to negotiate his surrender, and what transpired today was completely inappropriate and unwarranted given those conversations,” it said.
Bishop Lamor Whitehead, a controversial Big Apple clergyman, told reporters outside the precinct that he was “startled” when “eight officers, guns drawn, ran by me and made [Abdullah} get on the floor.
“This man is innocent,” Whitehead said of Abdullah. “His family has untold paperwork showing that he has mental health issues. As he states, he doesn’t remember anything.
“I pray that the courts do the right thing with this young man,” the bishop said. “But as per him wanting to turn himself in, I don’t believe he’s a villain.”
Whitehead said he reached out to the mayor’s office trying to negotiate a peaceful surrender before police arrested Abdullah.
Whitehead has made headlines before for his close ties to Mayor Adams. Whitehead himself has a criminal record for identity fraud and grand larceny, he has also been accused of pushing bogus youth mentoring programs. Adams nevertheless stood by Whitehead when asked about him in 2016.
NYPD spokesman John Miller also confirmed Tuesday that cops had stopped Abdullah as he fled the station — but let him go because he had changed his appearance and did not fit the description of the shooter.
“‘Why are you stopping me?’” Miller says the accused shooter told the cop. “‘I didn’t do anything,’ and so forth. They radio back. They get the description of the black hoodie. They document the stop and there’s nothing to connect him to that.
“Later, when we get that picture that you saw yesterday you see the sweatpants, the sneakers, the hoodie and underneath it you can see this orange or red shirt,” he said. “And the transit officer looked t that and says, ‘That’s got to be the guy I stopped.’”
Abdullah, who has at least 19 arrests in more than a dozen incidents since 2015, fled the Canal Street station after the shooting and had been the subject of a police manhunt.
He had been freed after a stolen car bust in April, despite Brooklyn prosecutors asking that he be held on $15,000 bail.