Frank R. James, the man who New York City officials say was responsible for the Tuesday-morning shooting aboard a Manhattan-bound N train, has been arrested.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said that James, 62, was taken into custody at St. Marks Place and 1st Avenue in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan just before 2 p.m. on Wednesday in response to a tip to the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline.
“My fellow New Yorkers, we got him. We got him,” NYC Mayor Eric Adams said while speaking remotely at a press conference. The mayor is still isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.
“I cannot thank the men and women of the New York City Police Department enough,” he said.
James was named a suspect on Wednesday morning. He is believed to have donned a gas mask and set off a smoke bomb before opening fire just before 8:30 a.m. local time. A van, believed to have been rented by James, was at the center of the investigation Tuesday afternoon, after the shooting.
The gunman sent off smoke grenades in a crowded subway car and then fired at least 33 shots with a 9 mm handgun, police said. Five gunshot victims were in critical condition but all 10 wounded in the shooting were expected to survive.
At least a dozen others who escaped gunshot wounds were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries. The shooter escaped in the chaos, but left behind numerous clues, including the gun, ammunition magazines, a hatchet, smoke grenades, gasoline and the key to a U-Haul van.
That key led investigators to James, a New York City-area native who had more recent addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin.
James “had posted several rambling, conspiracy-laden YouTube videos, railing against the city’s mental health services, complaining about race issues and speaking violently against people who he believes wronged him,” according to a report from the New York Post.
Law enforcement officials said James called police to come get him Wednesday, calling to say he knew he was wanted and that police could find him at a McDonald’s in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood, the Associated Press reported.
James was gone when officers arrived, but he was soon spotted and arrested on a busy corner nearby.
Sewell said that the authorities “were able to shrink his world quickly.”
“There was nowhere left for him to run.”
James was awaiting arraignment on a charge that pertains to terrorist or other violent attacks against mass transit systems and carries a sentence of up to life in prison, Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said.
–With additional reporting from Associated Press