Brooklyn subway shooting: Frank R James now considered a suspect

A man who was previously named as a person of interest in the Brooklyn subway shooting has now been upgraded to a suspect.

The NYPD said it was looking for Frank R James, 62, on Tuesday night, hours after 10 people were shot and more than a dozen others injured in an attack at the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park.

On Wednesday morning, Mayor Eric Adams announced that Mr. James, who has addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia, is now considered a suspect.

The suspect in the shooting, who remains at large more than 24 hours later, was originally described as a black man with a “heavy body” measuring approximately 5’5″ and 180 pounds. He was reportedly wearing a mask gas pump and a green “construction style” vest over a gray hoodie.

When Mr James’s name was first released, police said they did not know if he was the shooter but had rented a U-Haul van linked to the attack, which was found abandoned several kilometers away.

A $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest, as authorities revealed the shooter opened fire at least 33 times with a 9mm Glock handgun.

A firearm, magazines, gas canisters and fireworks were recovered from the scene. Investigators believe the suspect may have been forced to stop firing when the gun jammed.

As the manhunt continues, authorities have come under scrutiny for the suspect’s escape, with Mayor Adams confirming surveillance cameras at the 36th Street station malfunctioned and therefore did not catch the attack.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the attack was ‘not being investigated as an act of terrorism’ before later saying she was ‘not ruling anything out’ when she was pressed by journalists.

“We don’t know the motive,” she said.

Officials said the attack began as an N train was waiting to enter the 36th Street station when a man donned a gas mask and deployed gas from a canister before open fire inside the train and on the platform.

Dramatic footage posted online showed terrified commuters fleeing a smoke-filled subway car as the victims lay on the ground with gunshot wounds.

Terrified people running away from a subway car

(AP)

It later emerged that Mr Adams’ security had been enhanced due to disturbing videos allegedly showing Mr James reciting the mayor by name.

Mr Adams’ office said it had increased its protection details ‘out of an abundance of caution’ until Mr James was found. Police said they found ‘related posts’ online that named Mr Adams, without saying whether they were written by Mr James.

However, a YouTube account called “prophet of truth88”, whose videos matched a screenshot shared by police, had repeatedly posted videos addressing Mr Adams and sometimes expressing violent thoughts.

“These are the people who were supposed to help me,” Mr James said, showing pictures on a projection screen behind him, in a video seen by The Independent. “They made me worse! They made me worse.

“They made me more dangerous than I could ever have been, than anything anyone could imagine. But these are the people Eric Adams wants to send to help the homeless and whoever.

Over the past two years, Mr. James has posted more than 250 videos on YouTube, swinging freely between personal anecdotes, political polemics, current affairs discussions or montages of news clips.

In a video, he said: “Lest I forget, I’ve been through a lot of bullshit – where I could say I wanted to kill people. I wanted to see people die right in front of my fucking face immediately. But I thought about the fact that, hey man, I don’t want to go to a fucking jail.

In many of the videos, Mr. James, who is black, seemed concerned and appalled about violent crime, especially crimes committed by black people. He repeatedly expressed his antipathy towards black people and blamed “ghetto culture” and “slave culture” for the violence.

“At the end of the day, it’s not our fault. At the end of the day, it’s the white man’s fault that we’re in this state,” he said in a video recorded at an Airbnb and uploaded March 30. “But simultaneously, the reason we stay where we are is our own fault.”

His videos often show him drinking while talking to his audience, and one shows a row of empty hard liquor bottles lined up in his Airbnb room.

According to The daily beast, video showed him telling Mr Adams that he had been through New York’s mental health system and undergone treatment that made people want to ‘go get a gun and shoot on motherfuckers”.

Mr James is quoted as saying: ‘I was in crisis, as a patient. I have a diagnosis that goes back to 1980, and I was in crisis… what happens in these places is violence. Not physical violence, but the same type of violence that resembles what a child may experience in elementary school.

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