The man accused of shooting 10 people on a Brooklyn subway train was arrested Wednesday and charged with federal terrorism, after law enforcement officials said the suspect called police to pick him up.
62-year-old Frank R. James was taken into custody about 30 hours after the violence on a train that left people around the city on the edge.
“My fellow New Yorkers, we got him,” Mayor Eric Adams said.
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Brian Peace said James will appear in court Thursday 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 been criticizing videos on his YouTube channel about racism and violence in the United States and his struggles with mental health care in New York City, as well as Adams’ policies on mental health and tunnel safety. But the motive for the tunnel attack was not clear and there was no indication that James had links with international or other terrorist organizations, the peace said.
When taken to a police car Wednesday afternoon, James did not respond to reporters’ screaming questions. He was taken into custody a few hours later by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and placed in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. A message was sent to the lawyer appearing on his behalf for comment.
Prior to the tip-off on Wednesday, police released his name and photo, even sent out a cellphone alert, urging the public to help locate him.
Two law enforcement officials said Dipster James knew he was wanted and could be found at a McDonald’s in Manhattan’s East Village. They did not have the authority to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke anonymously.
James was gone when officers arrived, but he was soon found in a nearby bustling corner, department head Kenneth Corey said.
Passerby Alexei Koropov said he saw four police cars passing by and that James was in handcuffs when they caught them.
“He has nowhere to run,” said Police Commissioner Keechan Sewell.
At least a dozen people who were shot and wounded in the attack were arrested while trying to recover.
“I do not think I will ever be able to travel by train again,” Manhattan Hotel Housekeeping manager Howari Benkata, who was shot in the leg, told CNN from a hospital bed.
Governor Kathy Hochul met the 12-year-old victim at the hospital Tuesday night. One was attending class in the borough of Manhattan Community College when he was hit by bullets or pieces and the governor said he needed surgery.
Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that 18-year-old Guatemalan’s Rudy Alfredo Pérez Vásquez had been hospitalized after being injured in the attack but was “not in danger”.
Police said James detonated two smoke bombs and fired at least 33 rounds with a 9mm pistol in a subway car packed with passengers.
When the first smoke bomb exploded, a passenger testified to police that he was asked what he was doing.
“Oops,” James said, leaving for a second and then firing his shotgun, according to Detective Chief James Esick.
After stopping at the train station and the frightened riders fleeing, James appears to have boarded another train – many on the same train were taken to safety, police said. He exited the next station and disappeared into the most populous city in the country.
But James left many traces at the crime scene, including a gun he bought in Ohio in 2011 – ammunition, a hat, smoke bombs, petrol, a bank card in his name and a U-Hall van key. It was rented Monday in Philadelphia, according to police and court complaints.
He threw the orange worker jacket into the tunnel, which was a receipt for the Philadelphia storage unit. Officers found ammunition, targets and a pistol barrel in the storage locker and learned he had arrived there Monday, the complaint said.
The van was found unmanned near a station where investigators believe James entered the tunnel system.
Surveillance cameras filmed the van, which arrived from Philadelphia early Tuesday morning, leaving a vehicle wearing the same orange jacket near the station.
James was born in New York but has recently lived in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, officials said. Bruce Allen, a neighbor next door to the Philadelphia apartment where James has been staying for the past two weeks, said the man never spoke to him even when he went inside.
His videos show that James worked in a variety of production and other jobs. Police say he was arrested 12 times in New York and New Jersey between 1990 and 2007. He was arrested on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to possession of stolen equipment, but he pleaded not guilty.
There are many hours of contradictory, descriptive videos of him ranging from current events, his life story, to racist comments about people from different backgrounds. James Black.
Some videos claim that Adams, the mental health guard James came to town many years ago and complained about the conditions of the subway. In one post, he fully talks about trains filled with homeless people, as mentioned in the court complaint.
In another, he denounces the treatment of black people in the United States and says, “The message for me is: I should have a gun and started firing.”
Passengers fleeing the attack Brooklyn Subway Station opened Wednesday morning as usual, within 24 hours of the violence.
Jude Jack, who carries the tunnel through, said he works as a fire safety director in two blocks from the shooting scene, where he prays every morning and has a special request on Wednesdays.
“I said, ‘God, everything is in your hands,'” Jack said. “I was annoyed, you can imagine why. Everyone is scared because it happened.
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