Skip to main content

Police Arrest Suspect in Subway Mass Shooting, Reportedly Say He Was Involved in a Stabbing

Frank Robert James.

Frank Robert James.

Frank Robert James, the man accused of opening fire on a subway car full of people, was arrested on Wednesday in Manhattan, the New York City Police Department confirmed.

The New York Police Department previously said he brought a 9mm handgun onto an N train in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning. As it was going from 59th Street to 36th Street, he set off two smoke grenades and opened fire, injuring 10 people but killing no one, officers said. They added that 13 other people receive injuries from smoke inhalation, falling or a panic attack.

Police originally named James as a person of interest. They said they discovered U-Haul keys, which were in the shooter’s possession, at the Subway car. Officers said they tracked it down to a U-Haul van in the borough. Police said on Tuesday that James had rented the vehicle from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The NYPD named him as a suspect on Wednesday.

Police arrested James at St. Marks and 1st Avenue. Sources told NBC that he was also involved “in some kind of stabbing.”

The NYPD soon confirmed the arrest on their social media.

Officers said in a press conference Wednesday that they got a Crime Stoppers tip about James being at a McDonald’s. Police said they did not find him there, but checked the surrounding area, and found him at a corner of St. Marks Place and 1st Avenue.

When a reporter asked NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig what Frank James said during the arrest, Essig said the arrest happened just minutes before.

According to cops, video recovered from before the shooting showed Frank James entering the Kings Highway subway station in Brooklyn. This was three blocks from where investigators found the U-Haul van, Essig said. James had the same black cart recovered from the crime scene, he said.

James left the N train after the shooting and took an R train one stop over to 25th Street, where he stepped off, according to police. Before his arrest, his last known whereabouts was Park Slope.

James purchased the 9mm glock in Ohio in 2011, Essig said.

He has ties to not just New York City, but to Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Jersey, according to cops. Police arrested him in the city in a period between 1992 to 1998 for crimes including possession of burglary tools, criminal sex act, theft of service, and criminal tampering.

Police did not suggest a motive.

In social media accounts attributed to James, who is Black, he pontificated in rambling lectures on subjects like race, crime, and government.

“The main thing about the story of Black people in this country is that there is nothing fucking over here,” he said in a video dated Monday, the day before the shooting. YouTube had taken it down. “No, n*****, you’re not free. You’re not at home.”

Update – 3:22 pm: We added more information from police.

[Image via NYPD]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: