New York Daily News
NEW YORK — Almost 24 hours after a crazed gunman sprayed a subway car with bullets, wounding more than two dozen straphangers in Brooklyn, Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday that Frank James is now considered “a suspect” in the shooting, that the national manhunt to find him is “still active” and that “we are going to continue to close the loop around and bring him in.”
For the first time since the attack, Adams said James is a “suspect” rather than “a person of interest,” as police officials described him Tuesday evening, after a shooter let off at least 33 rounds during the morning commute on a Manhattan-bound N train in Sunset Park.
Adams was speaking on several radio and TV talk shows Wednesday morning about the incident. During an appearance on WNYC, Adams thanked the NYPD, as well as state and federal agencies, for helping “in apprehending this person,” but minutes later during an appearance on Bloomberg TV, he said he could not confirm whether James had been apprehended.
“He purchased the van in Philadelphia and brought the van here and started to get on the subway system, and you know, took just a terrible, terrible action against innocent New Yorkers,” Adams said during an interview Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “There’s no evidence that indicates at this time that there was an accomplice. It appears as though he was operating alone.”
Adams said during an earlier TV spot that it was clear the shooter was intent on creating “terror and violence,” but he stopped shy of defining the incident as an act of terror.
“We have failed so many ways, so many generations,” Adams said on ABC’s Good Morning America, referring to gun violence in the U.S.
The shooter kicked off his attack around 8:30 Tuesday morning when he let off two smoke bombs inside a crowded train and issued a two-word warning: “start running.”
A fusillade of bullets following, leaving 10 riders shot and at least 13 others injured. Five of the straphangers were rushed to area hospitals.
The assailant’s gun was recovered at the scene, along with 33 shell casing, 15 more bullets, bullet fragments, a hatchet and a bag filled with fireworks and smoke bombs, according to cops.
The police also recovered a key linked to a U-Haul truck with Arizona license plates, which was later found in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Adams and police have said that James rented the van in Philadelphia.
Videos of James unearthed on YouTube reveal him ranting about Adams, at one point saying that he is a “victim” of Adams’ mental health policies. When asked about those videos, Adams said he was not aware of James was referencing.
“People look at the mental health system and they question some of the things that have happened throughout the generations,” he said. “Our goal is to fix our mental health system. But it’s clear that this individual wanted to create terror and violence.
“We’re going to bring him to justice and have him prosecuted for his actions,” he said.
“James ranted about race issues and claimed that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was proof that black people were treated with disdain in society,” The New York Post reports.
Adams has cast the attack in Sunset Park as part of a national problem with the over-proliferation of guns and also stemming from a “revolving door” in courts. But he has also floated a possible solution that the city and state could have a role in introducing, albeit one that has been criticized as impractical.
Adams said he is looking into installing gun detection devices on the city’s subway system on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, he doubled down on that idea.
“We must have a safe, reliable, dependable subway system,” he said. “Oftentimes when people hear of metal detectors, they immediately think of the airport model. Those are not the only models that are available. There are new models that are being used at ball games, ball parks, hospitals where you’re not stopping to go through your belongings. You’re simply walking through a device.”
Frank James YouTube below:
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