In April of 2022, a gunman wearing a gas mask dropped smoke grenades on the floor of a New York City subway car and opened fire on the passengers, resulting in the injury of 29 people. As the car pulled into the next station, passengers fled, and chaos ensued.

Mayra Kalisch and Eric Acevedo, strangers who had never met despite living two blocks from each other, were there to witness the aftermath.

What happened in the next few minutes forged a special bond between them, but also sent them down different paths in the months that followed.

Top photo: Mayra Kalisch and Eric Acevedo at their StoryCorps interview in New York City on May 11, 2023. Courtesy of Brett Tubin.
Middle photo: Mayra Kalisch and Eric Acevedo pose at the 45th Street Station in Brooklyn, New York where they first met in 2022. Courtesy of Eric Acevedo.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired August 25th, 2023 on NPR’s Morning Edition.