Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James is under arrest

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

Frank Robert James was identified as the suspect in custody. He was arrested while walking in Lower Manhattan’s East Village shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday.

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell told a news conference that a tip to the NYPD Crime Stoppers hotline led to James’ arrest.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams welcomed the arrest.

“My fellow New Yorkers: We got it. We got it,” Adams said, adding, “I want to thank everyday New Yorkers who called for tips.”

James was initially named a “person of interest” before police and the mayor announced on Wednesday morning that he was suspected of being the shooter.

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

NYPD via AP


Sewell told a news conference on Tuesday that the attack began around 8:24 a.m. when a man riding an N train in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood “donned what appeared to be a gas mask.” before pulling out a canister and cracking it open, releasing smoke into the subway car. He then started shooting.

At another press conference Tuesday night, police said investigators found the key to a U-Haul pickup truck at the scene of the shooting and determined the pickup truck was rented by James in Philadelphia. The van was found Tuesday afternoon at another location in Brooklyn.

Police said a 9mm semi-automatic handgun was recovered, after it apparently jammed. Officials said a hatchet, fireworks and gasoline were also found.

“We don’t know the motive at this time, but we’re not ruling anything out,” Sewell said.

James appears to have uploaded a series of videos in recent weeks in which he airs a host of grievances, some directed at New York Mayor Eric Adams, and complaining about the number of homeless people in New York. The man also commented on how easy it felt to commit crimes in the subway system, regardless of an increased police presence.

Other topics discussed 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 with 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 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 passengers, many apparently injured, fleeing.

While some passers-by waiting for the train also fled, others stayed to help the injured.

-Pat Milton contributed reporting.

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