Brooklyn Subway Shooting Suspect Was Just Arrested – Here’s Everything We Know
Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, was just arrested after being spotted by St. Marks Place and First Avenue in the East Village Wednesday. He was brought to the 9th Precinct and is now in police custody.
While suspect James has now officially been apprehended, there’s no doubt the April 12 shooting has left the entire world rattled. According to the NYPD, the shooter reportedly threw two smoke grenades inside a Manhattan-bound N train in Sunset Park, then fired a handgun 33 times. 10 people were shot, with five of them currently still in critical condition, while two dozen others have injuries.
While police seemed to be at a loss the day of the shooting when it came to finding the culprit, New York City Mayor Eric Adams pointed to James as a suspect by the next day.
As per police, James left behind a slew of items — one of which led to his identification. He allegedly left behind a Glock 17 9mm handgun with three extended magazines, a hatchet, smoke grenades, a garbage can, a rolling cart, gasoline, a credit card, and the key to his U-Haul van.
NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig explained that the credit card and key are what led police to James, who abandoned the U-Haul with an Arizona license plate near a station by Kings Highway in Gravesend.
The AFT also used the gun to find James, tracing it to a purchase made in a Columbus, Ohio pawn shop in 2011. A video of James around the U-Haul has also been uncovered, with surveillance videos showing James walking into the station with a bag similar to the one left at the scene.
The shooter wore a gas mask, a construction vest, work helmet and a hoodie at the time of the attack, making one witness believe he was an MTA worker.
James has addresses in both Wisconsin and Philadelphia and has ties to New York. He is described as a Black man with a height of approximately 5-foot-5 weighing around 180 pounds. He is said to have a criminal record including three arrests for petit larceny, disorderly conduct, and trespassing.
Before the suspect was found, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell asked the public for help, even offering a $50,000 reward. Mayor Adams also explained, “we are going to continue to close the loop around him and bring him in, and continue the investigation into this horrific act against innocent New Yorkers.”
Meanwhile, uncovered videos from James’ social media pages show that he had spoken about committing acts of violence in the past, and is a possible conspiracy theorist. While his YouTube account seems to now be disabled, several outlets have documented James’ many tirades.
In one recent video, James reportedly says he was “entering the danger zone,” calling himself “a victim” of Mayor Adams’ mental health program. He said, “I’m 63 now full of hate, full of anger, and full of bitterness.” He often directed his speeches at the Mayor, at one point saying: “Eric Adams, Eric Adams: What are you doing, brother? What’s happening with this homeless situation… every [subway] car I went to was loaded with homeless people. It was so bad, I couldn’t even stand.”
He said a mental health facility he stayed at had “the kind of violence a child experiences in grade school … that would make him go get a gun and [shoot] motherf***ers.” Referring to the current Russia-Ukraine war, the suspect explained, “ultimately at the end of the day, [white people] kill and commit genocide against each other. What do you think they gonna do to your Black a**?”
James reportedly thought a race war was coming, believing, “it’s just a matter of time before these white motherf***ers decide, ‘hey listen. Enough is enough. These n***ers got to go.’” He said, “you gonna die. ‘Cause unlike President [Volodymyr Zelenskyy] over in Ukraine, nobody has your back. The whole world is against you. And you’re against your f***ing self.” He point-blank stated: “and so the message to me is: I should have gotten a gun, and just started shooting motherf***ers.”
While Mayor Adams said that has not yet been designated as a terrorist attack, he explained they know James “wanted to bring terror.” Meanwhile, CBS reports that “every single victim” is expected to be okay.