The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Death at Times Square station: A woman pushes commuter into path of subway train, police say

New York police officers arrested a woman suspected of shoving a commuter in front of a subway train at the busy Times Square station on Nov. 7, killing the vic (Video: Reuters)
Placeholder while article actions load

On Monday, every subway commuter’s nightmare became reality when a 49-year-old Queens woman was shoved off a subway platform into the path of an oncoming train.

It occurred at the Times Square subway station around 1:20 p.m., when a southbound No. 1 train was entering into the station. Police said Melanie Liverpool-Turner, a 30-year-old Queens woman whom they described as “emotionally disturbed,” pushed the 49-year-old onto the tracks.

The two women did not seem to know each other.

The victim, whose name has not been released by authorities, was struck with great force almost immediately. The train quickly came to a stop, leaving her body lodged under the third car, according to the New York Times.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, witnesses said Liverpool-Turner attempted to calmly walk out to the sidewalk, as a throng of police officers filled the station. One witness noticed her wandering off and alerted police.

“A passerby followed a suspect up the stairs and pointed her out to a cop, which is what we ask people to do — when you see something, say something,” an unnamed police official told DNA Info.

She was arrested and, late Monday night, charged with second-degree murder, WCBS reported.

“It’s a horrible incident,” NYPD Assistant Chief William Aubry told WNBC. “Your heart goes out to this victim and her family.”

This isn’t Liverpool-Turner’s first experience with a tragic subway death.

On Oct. 19, a woman was killed after being struck by an L train at the 14th Street-Union Square subway station, DNA Info reported.

At the time, police said, Liverpool-Turner claimed to have pushed the deceased onto the tracks, but her confession was dismissed when two different witnesses told investigators that the woman had jumped in front of the train of her own volition. Her death was ultimately ruled a suicide. WNBC reported that now the NYPD is reexamining that case, but no other outlets, nor police, have confirmed this.

Unnamed sources told DNA Info that Liverpool-Turner has long battled schizophrenia, anxiety and depression.

While deaths involving the subway system are not common, a few have occurred in the past few years.

Perhaps the most famous case was that of 58-year-old Queens resident Ki Suk Han, who was shoved in front of an oncoming Q train in early December 2012. His last seconds were captured by R. Umar Abbasi, a freelance photographer.

The New York Post chose to run that photo as the cover of its tabloid, accompanied with the words “Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die” and the all-caps graphic headline, “DOOMED.” The cover inevitably launched a firestorm of criticism against the publication.

Later in December 2012, a woman shoved Sunando Sen into the path of an oncoming No. 7 train, which killed him. Then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg sought to calm anxious riders following Sen’s death.

“You can say it’s only two out of the three or four million people who ride the subway every day, but two is two too many,” Bloomberg said at the time, according to the Times. “I don’t know that there is a way to prevent things. There is always going to be somebody, a deranged person.”

Rare as these instances may be, some commuters have decided to be a little more vigilant while traveling on public transportation.

“I’ll be aware all the time,” East Village commuter Albert Sousa told WCBS. “I don’t take a chance because you never know who is next to you.”

More from Morning Mix

Susan B. Anthony died without the right to vote. Now people are covering her tombstone in ‘I voted’ stickers.

Clinton wins Dixville Notch, N.H., with 4 votes to Trump’s 2

Mo. man kills 4- and 5-year-old sons and then himself in murder-suicide, police say

Loading...