Friday, 22 Sep 2023

Suspected subway shooter indicted on terrorism, weapons charges

Suspected subway shooter indicted on terrorism, weapons charges

Alleged subway shooter Frank James has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a terrorism charge, accused of opening fire on a crowded Brooklyn train and wounding as many as 30 people last month.

James, 62, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, faces one count of terrorism and other violence against a mass transportation system and one count of firing a weapon.

During the morning rush hour on April 12, James, wearing what appeared to be a gas mask, a yellow hard hat and a reflective orange jacket, allegedly set off two smoke bombs on an N train before shooting 10 people and hurting 20 others, according to court papers. James took off after the shooting, setting off a massive hunt before he called the police on himself, according to police.

“He fired approximately 33 rounds in cold blood at terrified passengers who had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide … Numerous passengers could have been killed,” prosecutors wrote in a letter asking for James to be held without bail. All the victims were expected to survive.

The day before the violent rampage, James allegedly picked up a U-Haul van in Philadelphia and drove over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn. The van was later found abandoned three blocks from the 36th Street Station in Sunset Park, authorities have previously said.

In court papers, prosecutors said James came to Brooklyn with a Glock 17 handgun, a container of gasoline, a torch, and fireworks with explosive powder. Authorities later found the items on the platform where the incident took place. Prosecutors said they had video footage of James along with his bank card and cellphone. The disguise James was wearing also was found.

In videos posted on YouTube before the attack, James ranted about the New York City subway system, court papers state. In one video, James addressed New York City’s mayor and said: “What are you doing, brother? What’s happening with this homeless situation?” and “Every car I went to wa[s] loaded with homeless people. It was so bad, I couldn’t even stand,” according to court papers.

If convicted of terrorism, James faces up to life in prison. If convicted on the second count, he faces a minimum of 10 years in prison. He is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

James’s lawyer Mia Eisner-Grynberg from the Federal Defenders of New York did not return a request for comment.

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