New York (AP) – The man accused of shooting 10 people on a Brooklyn subway train He was arrested Wednesday and charged with federal terrorism, and law enforcement officials said the suspect then called police to pick him up.
62-year-old Frank R. James was taken into custody about 30 hours after he was murdered on an emergency train, leaving five victims in critical condition and people around the city on edge.
“My fellow New Yorkers, we got him,” Mayor Eric Adams said.
Brooke’s U.S. attorney Brian Pease said James was awaiting trial on charges related to terrorist or other violent attacks against public transport systems, and could face up to life in prison.
In recent months, James has criticized online videos about his experiences with racism and violence in the United States and mental health care in New York City, as well as Adams’ policies on mental health and subway safety. But the motive for the tunnel attack was not clear, and Peace said there was no indication that James had links to international or other terrorist organizations.
James, who hails from New York and has recently lived in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, does not immediately know if he has a lawyer or someone else who can speak for him. A board pasted on the door of James’ Milwaukee apartment asks that all mail be delivered to the post office box.
As James, wearing a blue T-shirt and brown pants with his hands tied behind his back, was taken away in a car just hours after his arrest, he did not respond to questions shouted by reporters.
Police made a serious effort to locate him, releasing his name and issuing cell phone alerts.
Department head Kenneth Corey said they received a tip Wednesday that he was at a McDonald’s in the eastern village of Manhattan.
The tipster was James, who told officers to come and pick him up, two law enforcement officers said. They did not have the authority to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke anonymously.
James was gone when the officers arrived, but they soon found him in a busy corner nearby.
Four police cars were enlarged around a corner and officers jumped out.
Police Commissioner Kiechant Sewell said officers “were able to quickly shrink his world.”
“He has nowhere to run,” she said.
Earlier in the day, police said James threw smoke bombs at a car in a subway full of passengers and then fired at least 33 rounds with a 9mm pistol.
After James opened one of the smoke bombs, a rider asked, “What did you do?”
“Wow,” James said, then pointing his gun and firing, according to a witness account.
At least a dozen survivors of gunshot wounds were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries.
As the frightened riders fled the attack, James boarded another train – several of which were driven to safety by the same train, police said. He exited the next station and disappeared into the most populous city in the country.
The shooter left several clues, including a gun, ammunition magazines, a hat, smoke bombs, petrol and the keys to the U-Hall van. Took those key investigators to James.
In 2011, federal investigators determined that the gun used in the shooting was purchased by James, a licensed gun dealer in Columbus, Ohio, at a pawn shop.
The van was found unmanned near a station where investigators determined the gunman had entered the tunnel system. No explosives or guns were found in the van, and a law enforcement official, who did not have the authority to comment at the hearing, told the Associated Press that he did so anonymously. Other items, including pillows, were found by police, who said he may have been asleep or planned to sleep in the van, the official said.
Investigators believe James arrived from Philadelphia on Monday and the officer said he reviewed a surveillance video showing a man coming out of the van early Tuesday morning matching his body description. The officer said the other video showed James entering a subway station in Brooklyn with a large bag.
Analysts analyzed financial and telephone records linked to James, and reviewed defamatory videos posted by James on YouTube and other social media sites.
In a video released the day before the attack, James, a black man, criticized the crimes against black people and said drastic action was needed.
“Now you’re here with the children who took machine guns and massacred innocent people,” says James. “It’s not going to get better until we do it better,” he said, adding that the situation would only change if some people were “beaten, kicked and tortured” out of their “comfort zone”.
In another video he says, “This nation was born violent, it is alive because of violence or its threat, it is going to face a violent death. There is nothing to stop it. ”
His posts are full of violent language and racist comments, some against black people.
Sewell called the posts “relevant” and said authorities had tightened security for Adams, who had already been isolated following a positive COVID-19 test. Sunday.
Many of James’ videos refer to New York’s subways. A video released on February 20 states the mayor and governor’s plan to address homelessness and security He described himself as a “failure” in the subway system and a “victim” of the city’s mental health plans. The January 25 video criticizes Adams’ plan to end gun violence.
The Brooklyn subway station, where passengers escaped from a smoky train in the attack, reopened as usual Wednesday morning within 24 hours of the violence.
Jude Jack, a commuter who travels on the D train, who works as a fire safety director in two blocks from the shooting scene, said he prays every morning and has a special request on Wednesday.
“I said, ‘God, everything is in your hands,'” Jack said. “I was annoyed, you can imagine why. Everyone is scared because it happened.
Balsamo reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Jim Mustian, Beatrice Dubui, Karen Mathews, Julie Walker, Deepti Hazela, Michelle L. Price and David Porter in New York contributed to the report, and Michael Kunzelman contributed from College Park, Maryland.