The man suspected of setting off smoke bombs and spraying gunfire inside a New York City subway car, injuring 23 people, was arrested on Wednesday on a federal charge of violently attacking a mass transportation system, capping an around-the-clock manhunt.
Frank Robert James, 62, was taken into custody in lower Manhattan, about 8 miles from the scene of Tuesday’s assault, after authorities determined his whereabouts with the help of tips from residents, some of whom posted sightings on social media, police said.
James was arrested 30 hours after an attack that erupted during the morning commuter rush as the Manhattan-bound N line train was pulling into an underground station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park community, renewing fears of violence in the city’s subway system.
“My fellow New Yorkers, we got him. We got him,” Mayor Eric Adams told a press conference announcing the arrest. “We’re going to protect the people of this city and apprehend those who believe they can bring terror to everyday New Yorkers.”
A 10-page criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn charges James with a single count committing a terrorist or other violent attack against a mass transportation system. If convicted, he could face life in prison, officials said.
James is accused of setting off two smoke bombs inside a subway car moments before opening fire on fellow passengers with a semi-automatic handgun. The pistol, purchased in 2011, was later recovered from the scene, along with three extended-ammunition magazines, a torch, a hatchet, a bag of fireworks and a container of gasoline, according to police and court documents.
SMOKE AND GUNFIRE
Police said 10 people were struck by gunfire, five of them listed in critical but stable condition on Wednesday. Thirteen others were injured in the frantic rush to flee the smoke-filled train. All of the victims were expected to survive.