The man suspected of shooting 10 people and injuring 28 others on a Brooklyn subway train was arrested on Wednesday after he himself called police to come get him, authorities said. Frank R James, 62, was arrested after being on the run for almost 30 hours following Tuesday's subway shooting, police said.
He has now been charged with one federal count of terrorism and will appear in court on Thursday. Law enforcement officials revealed during a press conference an hour or so after James' arrest that the gun used in the incident, a 9mm Glock, was bought by James in Ohio in 2011.
James allegedly called CrimeStoppers on Wednesday and said that he was at a McDonald's in Manhattan, leading officers to the East Village. When the cops arrived to McDonald's and found James missing, they began driving around the neighborhood.
Also, a couple of observant New Yorkers flagged down a pair of cops after spotting James sauntering through the East Village, where he briefly sat down at an outdoor dining shelter and charged his phone at a Link NYC hub. They finally spotted him on the junction of St Marks Place and First Avenue in the East Village, one of the busiest intersections in the neighborhood and arrested him without any incident.
However, by that time he had already spent 30 hours on the run without the NYPD being able to track him.
"A call came into Crime Stoppers ... The guy says, 'You know I think you're looking for me. I'm seeing my picture all over the news and I'll be around this McDonalds... I want to clear things up,'" law-enforcement sources told The New York Post of the bizarre moment Frank James called cops on himself.
"So the unit responds and he's not at the McDonalds so they start driving around and see a man who fits the description. When they take him into custody they find his Wisconsin driver's license."
The 30-hour manhunt involved the assistance of local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities, as well as the general public. "We were able to quickly narrow his world to the point where he had nowhere to turn," said state Attorney General Letitia James.
Although James finally got arrested, police accepted that it wouldn't have been possible without public help. "We could have not done this without the public's help," said the FBI officer at the press conference.
Authorities have charged James with perpetrating terrorist attacks and other acts of violence against mass transit systems, a charge that could land him in prison for the rest of his life if he is found guilty, according to Breon S Peace, the US attorney for New York's Eastern District.
During his arrest and handcuffing, James was seen smiling and cooperating with the police. It was unclear if James, who is from New York but has lately resided in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, had retained a counsel or has anyone else who can speak for him.
However, the motive behind the shooting still remains unclear. James has railed against racism and brutality in the United States, as well as his experiences with mental health care in New York City, in recent YouTube videos, and he has questioned Mayor Eric Adams' policies on mental health and subway safety.
His criminal history includes nine prior arrests in New York between 1992 and 1998 for burglary, larceny, and sexual assault, as well as three arrests in New Jersey (1992, 1993, and 2007) for disorderly conduct and trespass. According to authorities, James has no criminal history and was unknown to the FBI.