New York shooting suspect arrested
A man who the police said was a suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting, Frank R. James, was taken into custody on Wednesday, more than 24 hours into the expansive search that erupted after a gunman shot at least 10 people in a train station, according to two law enforcement officials.
James was apprehended in the East Village area of Manhattan, New York, one of the officials said.
The development on Wednesday represents a significant step in the investigation into the Sunset Park, Brooklyn, shooting that left at least 23 people injured when a man donning a construction suit and gas mask threw two smoke grenades on the floor of an N train and unleashed a barrage of gunfire into the car around 8.30am (local time) on Tuesday.
The gunman escaped the scene, but the police discovered an array of belongings on the train that he appeared to have left behind, including a Glock 9-mm handgun, three ammunition magazines, a credit card with James’s name on it and a key to a U-Haul van.
That vehicle was found abandoned on a street in the Gravesend neighbourhood late on Tuesday afternoon, about five miles from the 36th Street station, where the shooting broke out. The police said that James had rented the vehicle in Philadelphia, possibly sometime over the last few days.
The vast manhunt for James, who has addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin, included a broad review of security cameras throughout the subway system; a more than 17-block wide ground canvass in Sunset Park for stores’ surveillance footage or other signs of James; and a search for information on the gun, which matched a serial number in federal records.
But the investigation was complicated by the malfunctioning of at least one security camera in the subway station where the mass shooting took place, and one senior law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said that it appeared none were in full operation at the time of the gunfire.
The shooting on Tuesday, a bloody attack during the morning commute in an area that is home to many Mexican and Latin American immigrants, represented another steep challenge for state and city officials to convince riders that the subways are safe, following a spate of other high-profile attacks in recent months.
The motive behind the attack remained unclear on Wednesday.
But the man in custody, James, appeared to have maintained a significant online presence in recent years, posting dozens of videos on social media. Some were featured on a YouTube channel belonging to the username prophetoftruth88, from which the police obtained a screenshot of him to release to the public. In at least one post, the man in the video identified himself as Frank James.
In the recordings, many of them between 20 and 50 minutes in length, the man offered lengthy tirades, often on subjects of race, violence and his personal life. He expressed bigoted views on black people, and on black women.
New York Times News Service