Screaming, passengers lying on the floor of a train, pools of blood… The man suspected of causing chaos in the New York subway shootings on Tuesday morning, was arrested Wednesday after an extensive search. New York authorities said he would be tried for a “terrorist attack”.
The suspect, who had caused mayhem the day before in the tunnel network, was arrested in Manhattan at 1:42 p.m. thanks to a report, according to the New York Police Department. “We got it,” New York Democratic Mayor Eric Adams greeted at a news conference, predictably at the juncture on the topic of crime-fighting, which made it a campaign theme last year.
Police have been on a manhunt for more than 24 hours for Frank James, a 62-year-old African American accused of multiple shootings on the N train at the 36th Street station in South Brooklyn. The man, known to police, had already been arrested 12 times in New York and New Jersey, including on charges of “sex crimes,” “theft” or “disturbing public order,” authorities have identified.
But he was never convicted of a crime in New York State. Federal Police Officer Michael Driscoll announced that he is now “subject to federal prosecution for his work, a terrorist attack on public transportation.” “He will appear in federal court in Brooklyn and if convicted, he will face a life sentence,” Attorney Bron Pace said.
Since that attack, in which 23 people have been injured — ten people have been shot, and 13 others were scrambling to get out of a subway or by inhaling smoke — police have been tracking down a 62-year-old suspect, identified as Frank Robert James.
The New York Police Department has announced a reward of $50,000 for anyone who provides information leading to the suspect’s whereabouts.
“According to the first investigations, the man would have acted alone,” Mayor Eric Adams said on ABC News. The motives for his action are not yet known, CNN specifies.
The New York Post reported that James rented a U-Haul vehicle linked to the attack, authorities said at a news conference on Tuesday. The suspect posted several confused and conspiratorial videos on YouTube, criticized the city’s mental health services, complained about racial issues and spoke violently against people he believed to have wronged him. In one, he attacked Big Apple Mayor Eric Adams in one of his videos, claiming that an ethnic war would follow the conflict in Ukraine. “It is only a matter of time before these white sons decide: “Listen, that’s enough, these people have to go.” He also said in one of these videos.
At 8:24 a.m. Tuesday, when metro trains in the metropolis were crowded, this man, who was wearing a gas mask, opened two canisters that allowed smoke to seep into the train. A number of passengers were then shot as the train rolled into the 36th Street station “south of Brooklyn,” NYPD Chief Chestnut Sewell said. A total of 33 bullets were fired. “We were really lucky that it wasn’t any more dangerous,” she said.
Jamming a 9mm semi-automatic Glock firing midway through that attack prevented further carnage, according to law enforcement. It has not been determined how the shooter escaped, but police are investigating whether he became part of a wave of passengers heading to another train on the platform, according to local media.