(NEW YORK) -- Three men were stabbed, one fatally, in separate attacks in the New York City subway system within an eight-hour span Thursday.
A 38-year-old Bronx man was getting off a northbound 4 train as it arrived at the 176th Street station just before 9 p.m. Thursday when he was stabbed multiple times in the back and chest by a suspect who came up behind him in what police said they believe was an unprovoked attack.
The victim collapsed on the platform and was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he later died.
"There was no contact in that train car between the victim and assailant," Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said of the fatal stabbing in the Bronx. "Looking at the video, it looks as though the attacker goes after that individual specifically. We don't know what the motive is."
He was the seventh person to be killed in the NYC transit system this year, and the second fatal subway stabbing in less than a week.
"We've surged thousands of officers into the subway system," New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Friday during a news conference. "We have to deter and prevent this activity."
The suspect fled westbound on East 176 Street and remains at large.
Earlier Thursday, at 5:15 p.m., a 45-year-old man was slashed in the face by a man who followed him into a Brooklyn subway station in East New York.
Just after 1 p.m., a 59-year-old man was stabbed in the back at a Harlem subway station. The victim was waiting for a train at the 125th Street station at St. Nicholas Avenue when he got into an argument with a man he didn’t know, possibly after a harmless bump on the platform, police said.
The other man pulled a knife and stabbed the victim in the upper back. He was taken to Mount Sinai Morningside hospital in stable condition.
The suspect, a Black man wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket and blue-tinted glasses, ran off. He also remains at large.
Police have made more than 600 arrests for illegal cutting instruments on the subway so far this year. Transit Chief Jason Wilcox said that's a 95% increase from last year.
"The events of yesterday, very disturbing," Wilcox said. "We are going to be out there with the riders and for the riders, keeping them safe."