Sign Up
Paying Homage helps you connect and share with the people in your life.
Build Your Homage Page

Long Island Railroad Massacre »info

Owner: Allison Shaw

Dedicated To: Long Island Railroad Massacre

Tribute: To the survivors, victims and family and friends of Long Island Railroad Massacre




On December 7, 1993, as a Long Island Rail Road train pulled into the Merillon Avenue station in Garden City, New York, a passenger, pulled out a Ruger P89 9mm pistol and started firing at other passengers. He murdered six people and wounded nineteen others before being stopped by three of the passengers: Kevin Blum, Mark McEntee, and Mike O'Connor. Ferguson's trial was notable for a number of unusual developments, including his firing of his defense counsel and insisting on representing himself and questioning his own victims on the stand.
On February 17, 1995, the gunman was convicted of the six murders. He was also convicted of attempted murder for wounding nineteen passengers. As of 2018, he is serving his sentence of 315 years and 8 months to life at the Upstate Correctional Facility in Franklin County, New York.

On December 7, 1993, the gunman purchased a ticket for the 5:33 p.m. eastbound train at the Flatbush Avenue station in Brooklyn. This train stopped at the Jamaica station in Queens. the gunman boarded the third car on the eastbound Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) commuter train from Penn Station to Hicksville, along with more than 80 other passengers. The gunman, who sat on the southwestern end of the car, was carrying his handgun and a canvas bag filled with 160 rounds of ammunition.

As the train approached the Merillon Avenue station, the gunman drew the gun, dropped several cartridges on the ground, stood up, and opened fire at random. During the next three minutes, the gunman killed six people and injured another 19. Some passengers mistook the gunshots for caps or fireworks until a woman shouted, "He's got a gun! He's shooting people!" The gunman walked east on the train, pulling the trigger steadily about every half second. Several passengers tried to hide beneath their seats, while others fled to the eastern end of the train and tried to enter the next car. The gunman walked down the aisle of the train and shot people to his right and left as he passed each seat, briefly facing each victim before firing. The New York Times later wrote the motions were "as methodical as if he were taking tickets". The gunman said, "I'm going to get you," over and over as he walked down the aisle.

Other passengers farther away on the train did not realize a shooting had occurred until after the train stopped. As a crowd of panicked passengers fled from the third car into neighboring cars, one man appeared annoyed by their unruliness and said, "Be calm", before they forced a train door open and fled into the station. Two people were injured in the stampede of passengers. After the train's conductor was informed of the shooting, he decided against opening the train doors right away because two of the cars were not yet at the platform. An announcement ordering conductors not to open the doors was made; however, engineer Thomas Silhan climbed out the window of his cab and opened each door from the outside so panicked passengers could escape.

The gunman had emptied two 15-round magazines during the shooting. While he was reloading his third magazine, somebody yelled, "Grab him!" Three passengers – Michael O'Connor, Kevin Blum, and Mark McEntee – tackled the gunman and pinned him to one of the train's seats. Several other passengers ran forward to grab his arms and legs and help hold him pinned across a three-seat row with his head towards the window and legs towards the aisle. While he was pinned, the gunman said, "Oh God, what did I do? What did I do? I deserve whatever I get." He also repeatedly pleaded with those holding him, "Don't shoot me. I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Five to six people continued to hold him pinned for some time while they awaited relief. While those who had not tackled him, but were holding him down, inquired as to the location of the gun, they were assured that it had been kicked away and that there had only been one gunman. Most, if not all passengers still in the car were concerned that no further violence take place and that the shooter be held rather than attacked. He was held down for several minutes. Soon, Andrew Roderick, an off-duty Long Island Rail Road police officer who was picking up his wife from the train, boarded the train car and handcuffed the gunman.