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What we know about Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James, now under arrest in New York

Suspect in Brooklyn subway shooting arrested
Suspect in Brooklyn subway shooting arrested, charged with terror 03:53

New York City police have have arrested Frank Robert James, the man suspected of unleashing a smoke canister into a crowded subway car in Brooklyn and then opening fire Tuesday morning. Ten people were shot and wounded, and at least 13 suffered other injuries, officials said.

James will be charged in federal court with one count of terrorist attacks and other violence against a mass transportation system, a charge that can lead to a sentence of life in prison. He was detained while walking in the East Village in Manhattan shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday. 

New York City Police Department officers arrest subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, in the East Village section of New York, April 13, 2022.
New York City Police Department officers arrest subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, in the East Village section of New York, April 13, 2022. AP Photo/Meredith Goldberg

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said during a press conference that a tip to the NYPD Crime Stoppers hotline led to James' arrest. The tipster said they had seen James in a nearby McDonald's. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams hailed the arrest.

"My fellow New Yorkers: We got him. We got him," Adams said, adding, "I want to thank everyday New Yorkers who called in tips."

James was initially named as a "person of interest" before police and the mayor announced Wednesday morning that he was believed to be the gunman.

Photos of Frank James, suspect in Brooklyn subway shooting
This image provided by the New York City Police Department shows Frank R. James, who has been identified by police as the suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting. NYPD via AP

Sewell said the attack began at around 8:24 a.m. Tuesday when a man who was riding an N train in Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood "donned what appeared to be a gas mask" before taking out a canister and opening it, releasing smoke into subway car. He then started shooting.

In the federal complaint filed Wednesday, officials said James is suspected of using a Glock 17 pistol, which he purchased in Ohio. They included a photo of marks on the gun's serial number, and indicated they believe James may have attempted to "deface" the number.

James was initially linked to the case when investigators found a key to a U-Haul van at the scene of the shooting and determined that the van had been rented by James. The van was found Tuesday afternoon at a different location in Brooklyn.

In the complaint, officials wrote the van was rented Sunday in Philadelphia, and cameras picked it up crossing a bridge into Brooklyn early Monday morning.

Surveillance footage showed a man in a bright orange coat and yellow hat leaving the van two hours later, at 6:12 a.m. 

A surveillance image of a man who police say is Frank James, leaving a van hours before the shooting on a New York City subway train. CBS News

Officials said a hatchet, fireworks and gasoline were also found in the van. A receipt found on the subway platform led police to a storage facility in Philadelphia, where they found 9mm ammunition, a device that allows a silencer or suppresser to be attached to a pistol, targets and .223 caliber ammunition, which is used with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, according to the complaint. A search of his apartment turned up another gun, according to the complaint.

"We do not know the motive at this time, but we're not ruling anything out," Sewell said Tuesday.

Frank James, Brooklyn subway shooting suspect, arrested in Manhattan, officials announce 21:49

James appears to have posted a series of videos online in recent weeks in which he airs a host of grievances, including some directed at New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and complains about the number of homeless people in New York City. The videos also include commentary on how easy he felt it would be to commit crimes in the subway system, regardless of an increase in police presence.

Other topics touched on in the videos include Russian President Vladimir Putin, the war in Ukraine and various personal grievances with acquaintances.

Officials said local hospitals were treating 10 people who suffered gunshot wounds; five were initially reported to be in critical but stable condition, but officials said the injuries were not life-threatening. Other passengers were being treated for injuries were related to smoke inhalation, possible shrapnel and the panic of the situation.

Videos show smoke billowing from the train as its doors opened at the next stop, with riders, many apparently injured, fleeing.

While some bystanders awaiting the train also fled, others stayed behind to aid injured straphangers. 

-Pat Milton contributed reporting.

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