Brooklyn Subway Shooting: Person of Interest Named, $50K Reward Announced

Live Updates
  • 16 people were shot at a subway station in Brooklyn, New York Tuesday morning, FDNY said.
  • The main person of interest, at close of this blog, was 62-year-old Frank James.
  • The incident happened at the 36th Street subway station in the Sunset Park neighborhood during rush hour.
  • The suspect donned a gas mask and opened a gas canister inside the subway car as it pulled into the station. He then opened fire, striking people in the car and on the platform.
  • The suspect is still at large, police say. Authorities wouldn't say if the suspect matched the identity of James, the person of interest.
  • Investigators are working to determine a motive, but police said the incident is not being investigated as an act of terrorism at this time.
  • Correction: 4/13/2022, 6:00 p.m ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that James was on an FBI watchlist before Tuesday's attack in Brooklyn. Newsweek's reporting on a person of interest in the investigation who was previously on an FBI watchlist referred to someone who was not James.The FBI has clarified to Newsweek that James was not on a watchlist before Tuesday's attack.

Live updates for this blog have ended.

Brooklyn shooting
Emergency personnel gather at the entrance to a subway stop in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. John Minchillo/AP Photo

New York Mayor Calls For Stricter Gun Laws

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said a quiet Tuesday morning turned into a "war zone" on the N train in Brooklyn.

"This is not only a New York City problem, this rage, this violence, these guns, these relentless shooters are an American problem," Adams declared. "It is going to take all levels of government to solve this problem."

Adams criticized current gun laws saying "buying weapons of mass destruction" is as easy as picking up a piece of plywood with a garden shovel. Adams claimed in the U.S., there are more guns than people.

"There are over 400 million guns in this country alone. The U.S. gun homicide rate is 26 times that of other high-income countries," Adams said.

The mayor mentioned the Sandy Hook and Columbine mass shootings, saying guns are being used to massacre innocent people across the country.

"Killers are using weapons of mass destruction to kill innocent people," Adams tweeted. "Ending gun violence means changing gun laws. We cannot clean up a flood when water is still pouring into the basement."

Police offer $50K reward for information leading to person of interest

Police have identified 62-year-old Frank R. James as a person of interest in the Brooklyn subway shooting.

Though it is unclear if James actually was the shooter, officials are searching for him because of his ties to evidence found near the crime scene. A reward of $50,000 was announced for information that could lead to his whereabouts.

Police described the suspected gunman as being around 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing around 175-200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gas mask, an orange construction vest and a grey hooded sweatshirt.

James has addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin, authorities announced on Tuesday evening.

Authorities stressed that James is a person of interest in the case, not a suspect at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or Philadelphia police at 215-686-TIPS.

Person of Interest Identified in Brooklyn Subway Shooting

NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig identified 62-year-old Frank R. James as a person of interest in the Brooklyn subway shooting.

nyc shooter
Detectives James Essig identified 62-year-old Frank R. James as a person of interest in the Brooklyn subway shooting. NYPD Crimestoppers

Officials say James rented the U-Haul van associated with the shooting.

The key to the van was found at the crime scene, along with a credit card that was used to rent the vehicle from Philadelphia, law enforcement said.

The suspected shooter, who has not been identified yet, opened fire at least 33 times with a Glock 9-millimeter handgun, according to Essig.

Officers also found 3 extended clips, fireworks, gasoline and a hatchet at the scene.

Brooklyn Nets respond to subway shooting

The New York City subway shooting hit especially close to home for the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday morning, coach Steve Nash said.

At least 29 people were either shot or otherwise injured in the incident Tuesday morning. The 36th Street station, where the incident took place, is about a half-mile from the Nets' practice facility in Brooklyn.

"That's the subway stop for our practice facility and for our office," Nash said ahead of their game against Cleveland Cavaliers. "My kids go to school not exceedingly far, so it does hit home and you just feel for all those affected."

Nets all-star Kevin Durant chimed in saying the news was "devastating" to hear. Durant said he and his team heard sirens and saw a lot of commotion outside their practice facility.

"They sent us a text saying there might be some traffic but I don't know why," Durant said to ESPN. "And then you look through your phone and see stuff. I hate violence, I hate senseless violence. Hopefully we can figure out the details and get everybody to safety and get everybody the help that they need, but it's a tough situation right now."

The Nets are preparing for tonight's game as scheduled as the NBA continues to monitor the situation.

Suspect Was Previous FBI Guardian Lead

The man suspected in the Brooklyn subway shooting Tuesday is known to the FBI, a federal law enforcement officer told Newsweek's Naveed Jamali.

The suspect, who has yet to be identified, was a previous FBI Guardian Lead out of New Mexico. He was interviewed multiple times by the FBI and eventually cleared in 2019, the officer said.

"The Guardian Program, managed by the FBI, provides a proven methodology for reporting, sharing, tracking, and mitigating a large volume of counterterrorism-based incidents," the FBI website says.

Tuesday's attack; however, cannot be classified as terrorism until a motive is determined, the officer said.

Correction: 4/13/2022, 6:00 p.m ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that James was on an FBI watchlist before Tuesday's attack in Brooklyn. Newsweek's reporting on a person of interest in the investigation who was previously on an FBI watchlist referred to someone who was not James.

The FBI has clarified to Newsweek that James was not on a watchlist before Tuesday's attack.

MTA Gives Update on Subway Service

The MTA has restored limited service on Coney Island-bound D and N lines.

Service on the R line between Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as W line service, has been suspended.

Brooklyn-Bound Service

Coney Island-bound D trains are running local from Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center to 25 Street, bypassing 36th Street, and then resuming regular service after 9th Ave.

Coney Island-bound N trains will run local from Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center to 25 Street, bypassing 36th Street, and then resuming regular service after 8th Ave.

Manhattan-Bound Service

Manhattan-bound D and N service from Coney Island is suspended.

D trains will run on the F line to Broadway-Lafayette Street while N trains are running on the Q line to Canal Street.

R service between Manhattan and Brooklyn is suspended.

B and W service is also suspended in both directions.

The MTA advises New Yorkers to take a D or 4 train to and from the Bronx and Q trains for service to and from Brooklyn.

For service to and from Astoria, MTA advises taking an N train.

U-Haul in Connection with Shooting Found, Police Say

A U-Haul van matching the description of a truck police suspected to be connected to the Brooklyn shooting has reportedly been found.

A van with matching the description and Arizona plates was spotted near West 3rd Street and King's Highway in Brooklyn.

The van is reportedly unoccupied, as the shooting suspect remains at large.

Police are closing off the street, which is about four miles from the shooting scene, and clearing nearby businesses while authorities wait for a bomb squad and the highly specialized emergency services unit, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press.

Biden Sends Prayers to Families of Victims

President Joe Biden sent his thoughts and prayers to those impacted by Tuesday's attack on a Brooklyn subway.

"My wife Jill and I are praying for those injured and all those touched by that trauma," Biden said during an address in Iowa. "We are grateful for the first responders and civilians who jumped into action."

"My team has been in touch with city officials and we are working to support efforts on the ground," Biden said.

The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation are also assisting with the investigation.

On Monday, Biden announced action to fight gun crime in the United States, including disrupting illegal gun trafficking, community policing and community violence interruption. He added the answer is to "fund" the police, not defund.

"Today, the United States Department of Justice is making it is illegal for a business to manufacture one of these kits without a serial number," Biden said Monday. "Illegal. Illegal for a licensed dealer to sell them without a background check."

Biden on shooting
President Joe Biden talks about the subway shooting in New York as he speaks at POET Bioprocessing in Menlo, Iowa on April 12. Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Hatchet, Smoke Canisters Found on Scene, Officials Say

A hatchet and spray bottle of gasoline were among the items found on scene following the shooting inside a Brooklyn subway, law enforcement officials said.

A gun, bag of smoke canisters and fireworks and two extra clips of ammo were also found, according to WNBC. The gun the suspect used may have also jammed, preventing worse tragedy, a law enforcement source told WNBC.

Meanwhile, a manhunt continues for the suspect, who police describe as a black male, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 170 pounds. The search also now involves a U-Haul van with Arizona license plate AL31408, which officials say may be linked to the suspect.

Search efforts have been hampered as the MTA surveillance cameras at the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park were not working at the time of the incident. Police continue asking the public for any information or media that may help track down the suspect.

Police Searching for U-Haul with Arizona Plates

As the search for the Brooklyn shooting suspect continues, police say they are looking for a truck that could be related to the incident.

Investigators are looking for a U-Haul trucks with Arizona plates #AL31408, according to an internal NYPD email. It has not yet been disclosed how the truck is connected to the shooting.

Officers were instructed to "take extreme precaution" in their attempt to stop the vehicle if they come across the truck while it is occupied.

Brooklyn Subway Shooting
Members of the New York Police Department and emergency vehicles crowd the streets after at least 16 people were injured during a rush-hour shooting at a subway station in Brooklyn on April 12, 2022. ANGELA WEISS / AFP/Getty Images

Cameras at Subway Station Malfunctioned, Mayor Says

The cameras at the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn were not working, officials say.

During an interview with WCBS Newsradio, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the cameras were not working.

"The preliminary review stated that are that particular station, there appears to have been some malfunction with the camera systems," he said.

He said investigators are working with the MTA to find out if the issue was with the entire station or just one camera.

Adams said investigators are using photos and videos footage from witnesses of the shooting. Officials are asking New Yorkers to continue to help the investigation by sharing any information, photos or videos that may have.

He added that the city will double the number of police officers in the city's subway system.

"The person who carried out this act in no way is going to get away with this action or take away form our desire to live in our city without this level of violence and attack," he said.

Shelter-In-Place Lifted at Most Schools

The shelter-in-place has been lifted for most impacted Brooklyn-area schools Tuesday afternoon amid the subway attack investigation.

"It [shelter in place] remains in place for those in close proximity," the New York City Department of Education said. "All students inside their school remain in a safe, caring and supportive environment."

Sunset Park High School and Little Brooklyn Pre-K Center will continue to shelter-in-place until dismissal. Some schools have canceled extracurricular activities and PSAL Tuesday afternoon.

"NYPD and School Safety will provide extra support for a safe transition home and principals will be communicating with parents regarding specifics," the department said. "MTA shuttle buses will also be available for students who need transport to subway stations. The rest of the areas schools will dismiss normally."

Brooklyn shooting
Emergency personnel gather at the entrance to a subway station in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. John Minchillo/AP Photo

Gun, Magazines, Backpack Recovered from Scene, Officials Say

A gun was recovered at the scene of the Brooklyn subway station shooting, according to law enforcement officials.

An officials told ABC News that a handgun with three extended round magazines were recovered. One magazine in the gun was jammed, one was empty on the floor and one was in the suspect's backpack, that was also found at the scene.

The jamming of the gun is believe to have saved lives, the official said.

Uber to Cap Prices After Accusations of Surging Fares

Ride share giant Uber said it will cap prices on rides across New York following the shooting at a subway platform in Brooklyn.

Uber communications manager Freddi Goldstein said the company will work to refund anyone experiences "unintended charges" in the Sunset Park area during this emergency.

This comes after reports that Uber was surging prices around Sunset Park as people tried to safely leave the area.

People accused the company of taking advantage of people's fear of getting hurt or killed the subway after the shooting.

"Our hearts go out to the victims of this terrible shooting," Uber Support said in a reply on Twitter. "We've capped pricing citywide - please DM us your email and phone number so we can work on a refund for unintended charges during this emergency.'

Uber Support has sent this same or a similar message in reply to several other tweets accusing the company of price surging.

NYC Mayor Says Suspect Will Be Found

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the suspect in Tuesday's subway attack detonated smoke bombs to "cause havoc," as he encouraged anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

"We will not allow New Yorkers to be terrorized even by a single individual," Adams said in an address Tuesday. He was not present at the morning press conference as he's tested positive for COVID-19. "The NYPD is searching for the suspect at large, and we will find him."

Adams said he has been in constant communication with the various agencies responding to and investigating the incident. He also thanked first responders who rushed on scene. Officials say 16 people were hurt; however, injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.

"Let me say we're praying for all New Yorkers who were injured or affected by today's attack," Adams said.

He concluded his address by asking anyone with information to call NYPD at (800) 577-TIPS.

Hochul Calls for an End to Gun Violence

New York Governor Kathy Hochul called for an end to gun violence amid Tuesday's shooting inside a Brooklyn subway that left 16 injured.

"We say no more mass shootings, no more disrupting lives, no more creating heartbreak for people just trying to live their lives as normal New Yorkers," Hochul said during a press conference Tuesday. "It has to end, it ends now."

Hochul said she is committing the state's "full resources" to fight the surge in crime as she continues coordinating with New York City Mayor Eric Adams to address the ongoing issue.

We are sick and tired of reading headlines about crime, it has to stop," she said. "This insanity that is seizing our city because we want to get back to normal. It's been a long, hard two years."

Subway System Still Running as Police Search For Suspect

While some subway service has been disrupted in Brooklyn and Manhattan, the system is still running as police continue searching for the man suspected of opening fire onboard a Sunset Park station subway Tuesday morning.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reported "major" disruptions, as some trains have been delayed or suspended. MTA suggested alternative trains or buses for riders as the investigation continues.

Alternatives

"Free shuttle buses are running along the D/N lines in Brooklyn along multiple routes," MTA said.

Brooklyn alternatives: Free shuttle buses are running along the D/N lines in Brooklyn along multiple routes: Between Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr and Bay Ridge-95 St on Fourth Ave, serving N/R stations. Buses will stop along Fifth Ave between Union St and 60th St.

Also, Between Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr and Coney Island-Stillwell Av, serving D stations along Fourth Ave, New Utrecht Ave, 39th St, and New Utrecht Ave. Buses will stop along Fifth Ave between Union St and 39th St.

Manhattan alternatives: Take 1/2/3/4/5/6/A/C/E trains.

Queens alternatives: For service along the R line, take E/M trains. For service along the N line, transfer to 7 trains. Consider taking Q102 buses between 30 Av and Queensboro Plaza.

Suspect's Motive Unknown, Still at Large, Police Say

The shooting began in the subway car before spilling over on the the platform, police said.

As the N train pulled into the station, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the suspect was in the subway car when he put on a gas mask and opened a gas canister.

"The train at that time began to fill with smoke. He then opened fire, striking multiple people on the subway and in the platform," she said.

The suspect, a Black male, 5'5" with a heavy build, is still at large. He was wearing a green construction-like vest and a gray hooded sweatshirt, Sewell said.

Police do not know the suspect's motive, but said they are not ruling anything out.

Subway Shooting Brooklyn
New York City Police Department personnel gather at the entrance to a subway stop in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Multiple people were shot and injured Tuesday at a subway station in New York City during a morning rush hour attack that left wounded commuters bleeding on a train platform. /John Minchillo/AP Photo

16 Injured in Attack, No Life-Threatening Injuries

16 people were injured in the Brooklyn subway attack Tuesday morning, the New York Fire Department said.

Fifteen victims were shot; five are in critical, but stable condition. NYPD reports no life threatening injuries. The other victim was hit by shrapnel and suffered from smoke inhalation.

At this hour, police continue searching the suspect who was wearing construction attire. Police say he put on gas mask, took a canister out of his bag, then opened fire. Multiple people inside the subway car and on the platform were hit, NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. A motive remains under investigation.

Brooklyn shooting
Emergency personnel gather at the entrance to a subway stop in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. John Minchillo/AP Photo

No Life-Threatening Injuries Reported, Police Say

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said there are no life-threatening injuries following the Brooklyn subway shooting.

She added that this incident is not being investigated as an act of terrorism.

Sewell asked for New Yorkers to share any photos or videos of the incident with law enforcement, as the suspect is still at large.

Nearby Brooklyn Schools Under 'Shelter-in' Order

All schools near the 36th subway station in Brooklyn are on a "shelter in" order following a shooting, New York City Department of Education spokesman Nathaniel Styer said.

This order means that no one is allowed to leave the building, while only students are allowed in.

New York City Department of Education Chancellor David Banks said the department is taking "an abundance of caution and for the safety of our students."

"Following the incident this morning in Sunset Park, out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of our students we have placed all schools in the area in a shelter-in-place," he said in a statement. "We are working closely with NYPD and school leadership to ensure that every school has the supports they need as we work to ensure the safety of our school communities."

He added that the department will share updates as they become available.

"My thoughts go out to the victims of this tragedy," he added.

Officials to Hold Press Briefing on Shooting Soon

Law enforcement and city officials will hold a press conference soon to provide an update on the Brooklyn shooting.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul and police officials are expected to attend the briefing.

Check local New York City news stations for a live stream of the briefing.

Video Shows Aftermath of Incident on Subway

Video shows a chaotic scene of the aftermath in Tuesday's attack onboard a Brooklyn subway.

Dozens of riders are seen screaming and running out of the train as it entered the station. When the train doors opened, smoke billowed from inside. One man is seen limping out of the train then falling onto the floor. Another man, who appeared to have an injury to the leg, also fell to the floor. New York officials say 13 people were injured as the search continues for the suspect.

Biden, Homeland Security Briefed on Shooting

President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting in Brooklyn.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden is receiving the latest information on the shooting and is in touch with Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has also been briefed and the agency is prepared to provide local officials with support amid the ongoing investigation, DHS Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs Marsha Espinosa said.

Biden spoke Monday on his plan to target the rise in gun crime. This includes disrupting illegal gun trafficking, controlling ghost guns, passing universal background checks and funding community policing and community violence intervention.

Suspect Still at Large, Terrorism Suspected

The New York Police Department (NYPD) is investigating Tuesday's shooting at a Brooklyn subway as an act of terrorism, an NYPD official told Newsweek.

The search continues for the suspect at this hour, who reportedly fled the scene in construction attire. The suspect is believed to be a Black man, around 5'5, between 175-180 pounds, wearing a gas mask and orange construction vest, the NYPD official told Newsweek. It's believed he entered the Sunset Park station from 36th Street and 4th Avenue Tuesday morning.

The suspect is believed to have boarded onto a northbound R train, where an altercation took place. An explosive device, possibly a smoke bomb, was then detonated. The NYPD official said shots were fired, hitting between 4 and 10 people.

A federal law enforcement official told Newsweek that the suspect wore a uniform and utility belt from the city's Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

Brooklyn shooting
New York City Transit workers arrive at subway stop in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. John Minchillo/AP Photo

Train Services Delayed, Suspended Amid Investigation

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reports "major" disruptions to train services in Brooklyn and some in Manhattan as authorities investigate a shooting at the Sunset Park station in Brooklyn.

"There is a major disruption to service while NYPD responds to an incident at 36 Street," MTA said.

MTA reported initial train delays around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday due to smoke on a train at 36th Street. Emergency crews responded to crews discovered was smoke inside the station. Several train services have been delayed or suspended, riders are encouraged to take alternate subway or bus lines.

MTA shared the following updates and alternatives:

Update 10:40 a.m.: "We've restored D/N service in parts of Brooklyn."

  • There will be extremely limited shuttle train service running between:
  • D service: 9 Av and Coney Island-Stillwell Av
  • N service: 8 Av and Coney Island-Stillwell Av

Previous alerts:

  • No D/N/R service in Brooklyn and some stations in Manhattan.
  • Expect major delays on B/D/F N/Q/R trains.
  • Take alternate subway or bus lines.
  • No D service between Grand St and Bay 50 St in both directions.
  • Extremely limited D service running on the F line between W 4 St and Coney Island.
  • Many southbound D trains will end at 2 Av on the F line and turn back to provide northbound service.
  • No N service between 34 St-Herald Sq and Coney Island-Stillwell Ave in both directions.
  • No R service between Whitehall St-South Ferry and Bay Ridge-95 St.
  • W service is suspended.
  • Q trains are running local between 57 St-7 Av and Canal St in both directions to provide additional service
  • Alternatives:
  • Consider taking B1, B9, B11, B35, B37, B63, or B103 buses to alternate subway lines.
  • For service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, consider taking ‌2‌‌/3‌‌/4‌‌/5‌‌/A‌‌/C‌ train.

No Active Explosives Devices Found on Scene, Police Says

There were no active explosive devices found at the 36th Street subway station, New York Police Department confirmed.

There were earlier reports of "several undetonated devices" found on the scene.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (AFT) said it is on the scene in Brooklyn assisting city police.

Five People Shot, 13 Injured, Officials Say

Law enforcement officials report five people were shot and 13 were injured at a subway station in Brooklyn, New York Tuesday morning, according to the Associated Press.

The extent of injuries is unknown at the time and there is no suspect in custody. Officials responded to reports of smoke at the 36th Street station in the Sunset Park neighborhood. Fire officials said undetonated devices were also located on scene.

There are indications that a suspect fled the scene wearing a construction vest and a gas mask, AP adds. The incident impacted train services at the Sunset Park station.

Brooklyn shooting
New York City Police Department personnel gather at the entrance to a subway stop in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Five people were shot Tuesday morning at a subway station in Brooklyn, New York, law enforcement sources said. John Minchillo/AP Photo

New York Officials Have Been Briefed

New York city and state officials have been briefed on the shooting in Brooklyn.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams continues to receive updates on the incident.

"While we gather more information, we ask New Yorkers to stay away from this area for their safety and so that first responders can help those in need and investigate," press secretary Fabien Levy said.

Governor Kathy Hochul has also been briefed on the situation.