The NYPD has identified a 62-year-old troubled man as the person of interest they are looking for in the horrific Brooklyn subway attack that left at least 23 people injured on Tuesday morning. Frank R. James is the man, police believe, is behind the carnage but is still on the lam, officials said on Tuesday evening.
According to reports, James had made bizarre threatening rants on YouTube last month that included threats to mayor Eric Adams and had even warned that he would be "entering the danger zone". He also rented a U-Haul truck before carrying out the shooting, which was found five miles from the scene of the shooting, according to the police.
In Search of the Culprit
On Tuesday evening, hours after the shooting at the Brooklyn subway, the NYPD released the photo graph of James, identifying him as the person of interest in the incident. James, who warned last month that he was "entering the danger zone", had rented a U-Haul van tied to the N train attack in Sunset Park, police said at an evening briefing.
He is now being sought for questioning. "We are looking to determine if he has any connection to the train," said NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig.
"We know Mr James rented that U-Haul truck in Philadelphia."
The U-Haul van's key was discovered at the crime scene in the subway, according to the official, while the van was fund five miles from the shooting scene.
A 9mm semiautomatic handgun, extended magazines, a hatchet, gasoline, consumer-grade pyrotechnics, and a hobby fuse were seized from the site, according to NYPD Chief Keechant Sewell.
However, James, who has addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia, was not named as the suspect. Instead, NYPD says that investigators want to know if James witnessed the attack.
But in all likelihood, reports claim that James is the attacker after seeing his past record. It is increasingly becoming difficult for police to trace the attacker given that the person was wearing in a gas mask and his face couldn't be seen.
According to Chief Essig, the gunman in the attack fired at least 33 times using a Glock 9-milimetre handgun.
Chances are that, James was the attacker because of the threats he made on social media lately. James allegedly made disturbing social media statements regarding homelessness in New York City, as well as threats to Mayor Eric Adams, according to Sewell. As a result, Adams' security was beefed up.
It is also believed that James is homeless. "This person of interest in today's subway shooting in Brooklyn has made past comments about @NYCMayor," said Adams's spokesman, Fabien Levy.
"Mr. Mayor, I'm a victim of your mental health program," James had said in one lengthy YouTube video last month.
"I'm 63 now full of hate, full of anger, and full of bitterness."
He also slammed the mayor for failing to do more to address homelessness. "Eric Adams, Eric Adams: What are you doing brother? What's happening with this homeless situation," James said while referring to the subway. "Every car I went to was loaded with homeless people. It was so bad I couldn't even stand. I had to keep moving from car to car."
In the videos, James claims to have a confirmed mental disorder and rails about the city's mental health services, which he refers to as a "horror show."
"What's going on in that place is violence," James said regarding a facility where he claimed to have been receiving care. "Not physical violence," he clarified, "but the kind of violence a child encounters in elementary school... that would lead him to pick up a gun and start killing motherfâers."
The person of interest went on a rant on racial issues, claiming that the Russian invasion of Ukraine proved that black people in society were treated with contempt.
Police believe that James was living out of the U-Haul van because his clothing and personal care products were inside. According to the department, it's unclear whether James is the alleged gunman.
Ten of the injured commuters were shot, according to authorities. According to authorities, the gunman had been on the run for hours before police discovered a critical clue: the vehicle, which had Arizona plates and was discovered late Tuesday afternoon on West Third Street near Kings Highway.
James has addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin, according to officials, and they are currently looking into whether he has ties to New York. A $50,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to an arrest in the case.