Brooklyn Subway Shooting: Suspect Called Police on Himself, Officials Say

Live Updates
  • After a nearly 30-hour manhunt, NYPD arrested Frank R. James Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan. James has been charged with committing "terrorism or other violent acts on mass transportation" and faces life in prison.
  • Officers in Manhattan's East Village apprehended James after a crimestoppers tip was called into police.
  • James will have his initial court appearance Thursday in a federal court in Brooklyn, according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York.
  • NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said police were able to "shrink" James' world quickly, adding "there was nowhere else for him to run."
  • James has a criminal history spanning three decades, with 12 arrests in New York and Jersey.
  • The attack at 36th Street and Fourth Avenue station hospitalized 29 people. Ten had gunshot wounds, five were in critical condition, but expected to survive.

Live Updates Have Ended.

Suspect Called Police on Himself, Officials Say

The man suspected in the Brooklyn subway shooting called police on himself, law enforcement officials told the Associated Press.

Frank R. James tipped off police to his own whereabouts Wednesday afternoon, after being on the run for some 30 hours, AP reports. James called the NYPD tip line, saying he was inside a McDonalds in Manhattan and for officers to come and get him, two law enforcement officials told the outlet.

When officers responded, James already left the McDonalds at 6th Street and First Avenue, NYPD Police Chief Kenneth Corey said during a press conference. Officers found James at a nearby corner, at St. Marks Place and 1st Avenue, and took him into custody.

James arrest
New York City Police and law enforcement officials lead subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, front right, into a car and away from a police station in New York on April 13. Seth Wenig/AP Photo

A man named Zack Tahhan said he recognized James on the street Wednesday afternoon and alerted officers. Tahhan told WABC he saw James walking down the sidewalk, placing his bag in the street. Tahhan then made the connection and tried to warn people nearby to get away.

"Please, this guy is gonna do something," Tahhan said in an interview with WABC. "People think I am crazy, like nobody tries to believe me. I told them guys, trust me this guy... this is the guy."

Tahhan flagged officers who were nearby, and said police then made the arrest.

"Thank God we got him," Tahhan said.

Zack Tahhan
Zack Tahhan, a witness who reportedly notified police of Frank James' whereabouts, walks outside the 9th Precinct where James is currently being held in police custody for his connection to yesterday's shooting at the 36 St subway station on April 13, 2022 in New York City. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul is 'Deeply Grateful' After Frank James Arrest

New York Governor Kathy Hocul said she is "deeply grateful" that Frank James was apprehended.

She thanked law enforcement officers and first responders, whose "heroic efforts helped New York City respond to this horrific incident."

Hochul pledged to provide all state agencies to assist in the investigation and called for an end to the "epidemic" of gun violence in the U.S.

"My heart is with all those who are injured, their loved ones, and the entire Sunset Park community," she said. "The epidemic of gun violence that continues to terrorize communities across this country must end. My pledge to New Yorkers is this: I will fight every day to restore public safety, get guns off our streets, and prevent these horrific acts of violence."

Suspect Sighting at McDonalds Led to Arrest

A Crimestoppers tip of a possible sighting of the Brooklyn subway shooting suspect at a Lower East Side McDonalds led to an arrest Wednesday afternoon, NYPD said.

The caller reported seeing Frank R. James inside the McDonalds at 6th Street and First Avenue, NYPD Police Chief Kenneth Corey said during a press conference. When officers responded, the man believed to be James had already left. Police drove around the area, and spotted James on the corner of St. Marks Place and 1st Avenue in Manhattan.

The NYPD credited an "outpouring of tips by the public" along with the work of law enforcement for tracking down and taking James into custody.

NYPD Detectives continue asking any witnesses with information to come forward. MTA cameras on the train where the incident took place were down at the time due to an apparent server problem. Previously, a $50,000 reward was being offered for information leading to an arrest.

James arrest
Law enforcement officials lead subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, away from a police station and into a vehicle in New York on April 13. John Minchillo/AP Photo

'My Fellow New Yorkers, We Got Him,' Mayor Eric Adams Says

New York City Mayor Eric Adams gave an address after the arrest of Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James.

"My fellow New Yorkers, we got him," he said during a police press conference.

Adams, who tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, joined the briefing via video.

He thanked the city police department, federal agents, state police and first responders, including 9-1-1 operators and medical professionals, who helped in the effort to apprehend James.

The mayor also thanked New Yorkers who called in tips during the less than 30 hours James was at large following the shooting Tuesday.

Suspect Arrest History Spans Across 31 Years

After a manhunt spanning nearly 30 hours, NYPD officers arrested Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank R. James Wednesday afternoon. The arrest followed a Crimestoppers tip of a possible sighting of James at a Lower East Side McDonald's.

The 62-year-old was known to NYPD and had ties to Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York City. His arrest history spans 31 years, dating back to 1991.

Timeline of Tuesday's Attack:

Tuesday, April 12:

  • Before 8:30am: NYPD located video of James entering the Kings Highway subway station.
  • James enters an N line subway train car at the 36th Street station in Sunset Park.
  • Around 8:30am: James is accused of releasing a smoke bomb, then opening fire inside the subway car.
  • Following the attack, NYPD Detectives believe James boarded an R train that pulled into the station, went one stop up, and exited at the 25th Street station.
  • A manhunt begins, as police review video and camera footage to identify James.
  • Early evening: A U-Haul van police believe was connected to the attack was found near West 3rd Street and King's Highway in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, April 13

  • Officials identify James R. Frank as the wanted suspect.
  • Crimestoppers receives a tip that a man matching the suspect description was spotted inside a McDonalds on 6th Street and First Avenue in the Lower East Side.
  • Police respond to the McDonalds, the man believed to be James had already left.
  • 1:42 pm: Police drive around the area and spot James at the corner of St. Marks Place and 1st Avenue in Manhattan. James was arrested "without incident."

Prior Incidents:

  • 2011: James purchased the firearm used in Tuesday's attack from a licensed dealer in Ohio. NYPD says James had no felony convictions at the time.
  • 1992-1998: James was arrested nine times in New York for criminal sex acts, possession of burglary tools and other charges.
  • 1991,1992, 2007: James was arrested three times in New Jersey on trespassing, larceny disorderly conduct charges.

YouTube Takes Down Frank James' Channel

YouTube has removed an account of Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James.

James had posted several videos with violent rhetoric and openly criticized New York City Mayor Eric Adams' public safety plans.

The 62-year-old had several videos posted on the platform where he made statements that predicted a "civil war" between races and claimed that he "wanted" to watch people die, Newsweek previously reported.

The account, "prophet oftruth88," was "terminated for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines.

"Following the tragic event in New York City, our Trust and Safety team identified and terminated a YouTube channel associated with the suspect, in accordance with our creator responsibility guidelines," YouTube spokesperson Jack Malon said in a statement to Newsweek. "Additionally, our systems are prominently surfacing videos from authoritative sources in search and recommendations, including by surfacing our Top News shelf above related search results."

Frank James Charged with Terrorist Act on Mass Transit, Officials say

Frank James has been charged with committing a terrorist act on mass transit, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a press briefing.

Breon Peace, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said James faces multiple counts, including the use of a dangerous weapon to cause death and serious injury to passengers and employees on the New York subway system.

James has been charged with violating 18 U.S.C. 1992(a)(7), which prohibits terrorist and other violent acts against mass transportation systems.

Peace said James will be arraigned in a Brooklyn court and faces life in prison.

The federal government also intends to prove James "traveled across a state line in order to commit the offense and transported materials across a state line in aid of the commission of the offense."

His motive is still under investigation, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said.

James had been arrested several times. He was arrested nine times in New York between 1992 and 1998 for possession of burglary tools four times, criminal sex act and theft of service two times. He was also arrested three times in New Jersey in 1991, 1992 and 2007 for trespass, larceny and disorderly conduct.

The FBI said James has not been previously investigated by the FBI, despite earlier reports.

Because James had no felony convictions, he was able to purchase a gun, Essig said.

Video Shows Suspect Arrested by NYPD

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the arrest of Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank R. James Wednesday afternoon.

"My fellow New Yorkers, we got him," Adams said Wednesday.

NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said officers stopped James on the street near St. Marks and First Avenue around 1:40 p.m. Wednesday. James was arrested "without incident" some 30 hours after police say he opened fire on the subway, firing 33 shots, and seriously injuring 10 people. She called the manhunt an "all-hands on deck operation."

James arrest
Lúcia Guimarães/Twitter

Video shows NYPD arresting James Wednesday afternoon. Photos from earlier in the day show James walking around the city in plain clothes, with a baseball cap and face mask.

Frank James
Lúcia Guimarães/Twitter

Suspect Now in Custody, Police Say

Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James has been apprehended by police, New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

"Frank Robert James had nowhere else to run or hide," she said. "The work of our detectives is second to none and the dedication of our patrol officers is never ending."

Police Press Conference Happening Soon

Police are set to hold a press conference soon to provide an update on the investigation into the Brooklyn subway shooting.

Officials are expected to announce the arrest of suspect Frank James, after reports claim officers apprehended a man matching James's description on St. Marks Place, near Tompkins Square Park in the East Village of Manhattan.

Suspect May Have Purchased Firework Store in Wisconsin

Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James reportedly purchased fireworks photographed at the scene of the incident at a store in Wisconsin.

In a statement, Phantom Fireworks said an individual named Frank James of Milwaukee purchased four items at the Phantom Fireworks Showroom in Caledonia, WI on June 21, 2021.

The items purchased are believed to be the same items that were photographed from the bag left behind my the shooting suspect at the scene of the incident Tuesday.

The company cannot confirm if the purchaser and the shooting suspect are the same person, as there is no video surveillance footage of the purchase available.

Phantom Fireworks said it is cooperating with the investigating authorities.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those injured and affected by this terrible event," the company said.

Nets Donate $50,000 to Help Those Injured

The Brooklyn Nets are donating $50,000 to help those injured in Tuesday's subway attack.

The team announced the donation during Tuesday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, then held a moment of silence. At least 10 people were shot on the subway, many more sustained other injuries, including smoke inhalation.

"Our thoughts are with all affected by today's tragedy, and we are grateful to the first responders and everyday New Yorkers who answered the call for help," the Nets said.

The station where the attack unfolded, in Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood, is the closest to the Nets' training center. The team held its morning shootaround at the center Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

"That's the subway stop for our practice facility and for our office," Nets Coach Steve Nash said Tuesday, AP reports. "My kids go to school not exceedingly far, so it does hit home and you just feel for all those affected and you recognize that we have a lot of growing to do as a society and a community, and you just feel for everybody in our community that was affected."

Video Appears to Show Suspect Headed to Subway

Surveillance video appears to show the suspect wanted in connection to Tuesday's Brooklyn subway attack on his way to the station.

The video obtained by WCBS appears to show Frank James walking on the sidewalk just outside of the subway station. The man is seen wearing a reflective vest, hard hat, rolling a suitcase and carrying a bag. His appearance matches the suspect description released by police.

Video appears to show subway suspect
WCBS/Twitter

NYPD named James as the man suspected of opening fire inside an N line subway car in Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood Tuesday morning, "seriously" injuring 10 people. Police say James allegedly set off smoke grenades before opening fire. At least a dozen others were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries, WCBS reports.

Investigators have been combing through an "enormous" amount of MTA surveillance video overnight, MTA CEO Janno Lieber said, adding some did capture images of the suspect entering the station.

"They [police] do have from our cameras, in a station south on the N line, they do have images from three perspectives of the guy going into the system and they're looking at a lot of other video," Lieber said in an interview with Spectrum News NY1.

Eric Adams to Continue Homeless Encampment Sweeps

New York City Mayor Eric Adams promises to continue to "zero-in on crime," including continuing sweeps of homeless encampments.

In an interview on MSNBC, Adams said he is committed to building a "safe subway system" after the shooting at a Brooklyn subway station Tuesday.

"We must have a safe, reliable, dependable subway system," he said Wednesday morning. "There's many naysayers as we attempt to clean up the encampments" and get "those who are homeless into wrap around services."

He added that there is a "small numerical minority" who oppose these encampment sweeps. The mayor said these people are the "loudest" in their pushback against the Mayor's attempts to "make sure our city is a safe clean city."

"We are no going to succumb to their theory, we are not going to succumb to their loud noise," he said.

Adams also said Tuesday that he will double the police presence in the city's subway systems.

Many New Yorkers have been protesting in solidarity with the homeless community against Adams' encampment sweeps across the city.

The NYPD Strategic Response Group was reportedly in Tompkins Square Park enforcing these sweeps the day after the subway shooting.

Hochul Rides Subway to Visit Victims in Hospital

New York Governor Kathy Hochul rode a New York City Transit subway train Tuesday night to Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn to visit victims of the subway attack.

The hospital is treating several young people injured from Tuesday's incident, ranging from 12 to 18-years old, Hochul said. The now-patients arrived to Maimonides Tuesday morning. Hochul spoke with the 18-year-old, who is a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

"He was on his way to school, and he was awaiting his surgery on an injury," Hochul said. "It was either a bullet wound, or a shrapnel wound. I had a chance to talk to the doctors about his condition, but he was able to communicate with me. He seems to be doing well and he's in very good spirits, as well as his mother and grandmother who are there as well."

Hochul was joined by Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) CEO Janno Lieber for Tuesday's ride from 14 St-Union Square to Maimonides. She shared her commitment to work with New York City Mayor Eric Adams to crack down on gun violence.

"So I just wanted to come out here and show support again, thanking the MTA workers who with their quick action averted even more tragedy this morning," Hochul said. "All the fellow riders this morning who stepped up to help people when they were down and injured."

"Just another testament to how incredible New Yorkers are. As well as the law enforcement, healthcare teams, and everyone who had come together so powerfully in a time of crisis. And we have to ensure that this specter of gun violence in our streets and in our subways ends once and for all. I'm committed to working with the Mayor to deploy the resources. And we have our MTA police, very vigilant, working on the grounds as well."

Hochul on subway
Governor Kathy Hochul/Flickr
Hochul on subway
Governor Kathy Hochul/Flickr

Camera on Train Was Down Due to Apparent Server Issue

Investigators are reviewing an "enormous" amount of video from Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) stations as they continue to piece together Tuesday's shooting on a Brooklyn subway, MTA CEO Janno Lieber said Wednesday.

"We have 600 cameras on this one line in Brooklyn, 2,500 cameras the length of the line, so the cops have been looking overnight at all of the stations," Lieber told CBS This Morning. "Where he got on, where he might have gotten off."

However, Lieber said cameras on the train where the incident took place were down at the time due to an apparent server problem.

"I think that in the one location by the turnstile, there was apparently a server problem, which they had been working on the day before," he said Wednesday. "But the bigger issue is there's so much video evidence from all of the stations on this line that there are images of this fellow that are going to be found."

MTA is working to increase rider safety by beefing up police presence on trains and platforms.

"The mayor has committed to do that, that transition has already been underway since before this incident," Lieber said.

MTA
NYPD officers patrol platforms at the 36th Street subway station where a shooting attack occurred the previous day during the morning commute on April 13, 2022, in New York. John Minchillo/AP Photo

New Yorkers Startled by City-Wide Emergency Alert

Many New York City residents were startled by a push alert on their phones sent out by the city Wednesday morning.

The city sent an emergency alert about the ongoing police manhunt to find Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James.

The alert identified James as a 62-year-old Black man and shared to NYC tip line 800 577 TIPS (8477).

New Yorkers took to Twitter to voice their feeling about the alert.

Many said they were startled by the sudden loud alarm sound filled subway cars and offices.

Other felt the notification may be too little too late.

The alert even interrupted a live CNN broadcast with a Ukrainian lawmaker.

New Yorkers Back on Subways Day After Shooting

One day after the terrifying shooting in a Brooklyn subway car, New Yorkers are back riding the subway Wednesday morning.

The City of New York shared photos of city officials back on public transit.

"[The New York City Subway] is up and running this morning and so is your city," the city said in a tweet. "We're standing strong thanks to the resilience of New Yorkers."

The F train, which experienced delays yesterday due to the shooting, is up and running Wednesday with cars full of morning commuters.

Commuters have also returned to the 36th Street station in Sunset Park, the site of Tuesday's shooting.

Commuters Return to Subway
People wait for the train at the 36th Street subway station on April 13, 2022 in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City. A manhunt is underway for a gunman who shot 10 people, critically injuring five on the N train during Tuesdays morning rush hour. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Survivor Hourari Benkada Describes Subway Attack

Shooting survivor Hourari Benkada spoke to CNN from hospital last night.

Benkada, who was shot in the leg, said he was sat next to the shooter before the attack but did not get a glimpse of his face.

"All you see is like a black smoke bomb going off, then people bum rushing to the back," he told John Berman, who was filing in on Anderson Cooper 360.

"This pregnant women was in front of me, I was trying to help her. I didn't know they were shots at first, I just thought it was a black smoke bomb.

"She said 'I'm pregnant with a baby.' I hugged her and then the bum rush continued, I got pushed and that' s when I got shot in the back end of the knee."

NYPD Releases New Pictures of Frank James

NYPD has just released new pictures of shooting suspect Frank James.

New pictures o Frank James
New York Police Department on Wednesday morning released five new pictures of Frank James, in addition to two (top, bottom far left) released earlier. NYPD

Frank James 'Is NOT in NYPD Custody'

The Brooklyn gunman remains at large and police are still searching for Frank James, officials say.

In the last few minutes, Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for NYC Mayor Eric Adams, was moved to dispel any suggestions otherwise.

James "is NOT in NYPD custody at this time," he tweeted.

Dan Mannarino, a host at New York City station Pix11 News, whose reports were clipped by James on YouTube, echoed that in a later tweet.

'Person of Interest' Frank James Is Now a Suspect

Frank James, who had been named as a "person of interest," is now a suspect in the subway attack.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams' spokesperson, Fabien Levy made the announcement on Twitter shortly after the mayor's appearance on Morning Joe.

NYPD has confirmed the James' change in status to Newsweek.

Here's the video clip from which police appeared to have pulled a grab to help their public appeal for information.

The clip was taken from James' YouTube channel by producer Ford Fischer...

Frank James
Person of interest in Brooklyn subway shooting made threats on YouTube. Frank James has hundreds of videos attacking black people, white people, Jewish people and Mexican people. Prophet oftruth88 YouTube

Eric Adams: NYC 'Won't Succumb' to Fearmongers

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been speaking on Morning Joe.

Asked how Tuesday's attack could influence his decisions, Adams said "this city is going to be a safe city, and our subway system is going to be a safe system."

He added: "We know that this hits the mindset of many New Yorkers who are afraid of what happened. But we're a resilient city, we've been here before we've gone through some horrific issues.

"As a big city, as New York City, were often the target for bad-acting people, but this city has always shown a level of resiliency, and we're going to show it now so this entire country will know we won't succumb to those who want to bring fear to our city."

Recluse Frank James 'Kept to Himself,' Sister Says

A sister of Frank James has spoken to the press about her brother.

Catherine James said she lost contact with her brother years ago, adding that he "kept to himself."

"I don't know what might have been his motivation," she told The Daily Beast.

"Last I spoke to him was like three years ago," James said. "We don't keep in contact with each other... I don't know what he was thinking, I don't know anything about why he might have done what he did."

'Made Me More Dangerous': Frank James Rants on YouTube

Investigators are poring over James' YouTube videos this morning.

Under the username prophetoftruth88, the 62-year-old released hundreds of videos in which he launches into tirades about politics, race and gun violence.

In one video, titled "I TOLD YOU SO," posted last month, he criticized New York's mayor, Eric Adams, about violent crimes in the subway.

It begins with clips from local news station PIX11 reporting crimes in the subway.

The violent crimes include a man beating an elderly woman on the subway stairs and a clip of a man smearing feces on a woman's face on the train platform

"I f**king told you so," James said in response to the clips. "That was just last night, Monday night...a whole bunch of s**t popped off over the weekend."

Phottos of Frank James released by police
Police have released these two photographs of Frank R James, a "person of interest" in Tuesday's subway shootings.

The video also showed a clip of New York Mayor Eric Adams being questioned about subway crimes and homeless people. James then begins a monologue.

Pointing to a large screen behind him featuring 12 photos of unnamed people James refers to as "people that was supposed to be helping me."

"They f**king made me worse," he says. "They made me more dangerous than anybody could ever f**king imagine."

James mentioned he was a mental health patient at a New York Behavioral Health clinic.