NEW YORK (WGN/PIX11) — Police arrested the suspected Brooklyn subway shooter Wednesday, the day after he allegedly opened fire on a train, shooting 10 people, officials said.
Frank R. James, 62, had been identified as a person of interest on Tuesday and then upgraded to a suspect in the case. He was captured in Manhattan. James faces up to life in prison if he’s convicted, prosecutors said. He’s being charged federally on a terrorism offense.
“We got him, we got him,” Mayor Eric Adams said.
James was stopped on the street after a CrimeStoppers tip, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. He was taken into custody around 1:40 p.m.
Cell phone video shows James’ arrest Wednesday afternoon – after police say they got a Crimestoppers tip James was in a McDonald’s in Manhattan’s East Village. Law enforcement officials now say James called police with his location.
Hundreds of NYPD officers worked “doggedly” to find him. He’s since been taken to an NYPD precinct.
“We were able to shrink his world quickly,” she said. “There was nowhere left for him to run.”
Police had zeroed in on James because of a U-Haul key left at the scene of the shooting. James had rented the U-Haul, which was found in Brooklyn hours after the attack, police said.
James was spotted in a McDonald’s at East 6th Street and First Avenue, police said. Officers headed there after the CrimeStoppers tip. James wasn’t there, so the officers searched the area. They found him nearby at St. Marks Place and First Avenue.
Now that he’s in custody, James is being charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York. He’s being charged with one count of violating 18 U.S.C. 1992(a)(7), which prohibits terrorist and other violent attacks against mass transportation systems, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said.
“Yesterday was a dark day for all of us,” Peace said. “But the bright spots of the incredible heroism of our fellow New Yorkers helping each other in a time of crisis, the quick response by our first responders, and the hard work by all of our law enforcement partners that has been ongoing truly shines bright.”
James allegedly put on a gas mask on a northbound N train just before 8:25 a.m. Tuesday, then pulled out two canisters and opened fire as smoke filled the train, police said. Seven men and three women were shot. James allegedly fired 33 times.
Here’s what we know about James:
- James posted social media videos decrying the U.S. as a racist place awash in violence and recounting his struggle with mental illness. His profanity-laden videos are replete with violent language and bigoted comments, some against other Black people
- The gun James allegedly used was purchased at a pawn shop — a licensed firearms dealer — in the Columbus, Ohio, area in 2011, a law enforcement official who wasn’t authorized to discuss the investigation said on condition of anonymity
- Investigators believe James drove up from Philadelphia on Monday and have reviewed surveillance video showing a man matching his physical description coming out of the van early Tuesday morning
- Police described the suspected gunman as being around 5 feet, 5 inches tall. The man weighs around 175-200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gas mask and a construction vest. Police initially said the vest was green, but later officials said it was orange. The man also had on a gray, hooded sweatshirt.
- He was arrested multiple times from 1992-1998, including multiple times in New York and three times in New Jersey
- James has ties to Philadelphia and Wisconsin
James also has ties to Chicago. An employee at the Aragon Arms Hotel in Uptown confirms to WGN News James lived there from 2015 to 2017.