Frank James, the primary suspect of the Sunset Park subway shooting in Brooklyn on Tuesday that left at least 29 injured, including 10 commuters with gunshot wounds, has been taken into custody, according to law enforcement.
Officials said that the gun used during the shooting has been linked to the 62-year-old man and was sold to him by a licensed firearms dealer at a pawn shop in Columbus, Ohio, in 2011. A gas mask bought on eBay was also linked to James. James was born in the Bronx but has since moved to different locations for short periods of time, according to his sister, Catherine James Robinson. She has not seen or heard from him since their sister Barbara Jean Gray died a few years ago.
James also has ties to Wisconsin, Philadelphia and New York, according to police.
Catherine said her brother is about 6 feet tall and weighs around 300 pounds, contradictory to the initial description released by police.
In several videos uploaded to his YouTube channel, which is now defunct, James goes on rants about death, a “race war,” wanting to “exterminate” groups of people and the need for more mass shootings. He claimed in one video posted in March that he suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. James also heavily criticized New York City Mayor Eric Adams for his handling of homeless people on subways.
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Officials said no explosives or weapons were discovered in the U-Haul van that was connected to the shooting. But they did find food, and it appeared James might have slept in the van. A license plate reader spotted the vehicle going across the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn from Staten Island around 4 a.m. on the day of the shooting.
Investigators have “an enormous range of video” recorded on transit system cameras, according to Metropolitan Transit Authority Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.
The cameras on the trains where the shooting took place reportedly experienced technical issues.
“I think that in the one location by the turnstile, there was apparently a server problem, which they had been working on the day before,” Lieber said. “But the bigger issue is, there’s so much video evidence from all of the stations on this line that there are images of this fellow that are going to be found.”
The FBI has also started an investigation into Tuesday’s shooting and had asked the public to share any information on the bureau’s website. The U.S. Marshals Service was also involved in the search for James.
New York police, the MTA and Transport Workers Union had offered $50,000 for any information that could lead to the arrest of James.
Lieber told NextShark in a statement regarding the arrest of James:
“Transit riders and all New Yorkers will rest a little easier tonight thanks to the incredible work of the NYPD. Since the attack, the MTA has been cooperating closely with police on the investigation, reviewing countless hours of video from thousands of cameras across the subway and bus network.”
“With the support of Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams has made a powerful commitment to subway safety and has already taken significant steps to increase the presence and visibility of NYPD officers in the transit system—especially on platforms and trains, where riders want to see them most. We look forward to continuing to strengthen this partnership as we restore riders’ confidence in the transit system.”
A man by the name of Zack Tahhan, who immigrated from Syria five years ago, was identified as the man whose call to the police led to the arrest of James on Wednesday.