Frank Robert James was a frequent speaker on violence and shared bigoted views. He also criticized New York City’s mayor, in many video clips he posted on the internet, before he allegedly opened fired on a Brooklyn subway train carriage full of innocent commuters.
The NYPD on Wednesday identified James, 62, as a suspect in Tuesday’s mass shooting on a Manhattan-bound N train that saw 10 people shot and 13 others injured. Officials said that James was taken into custody in New York’s East Village on Wednesday. Police said that the arrest was made by 9th Precinct patrol officers.
Initially, a $50,000 reward for information leading to James’ arrest and conviction was offered. James was said to have known connections to New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
James frequently spoke out about violence in videos that he posted to YouTube. “prophet of truth 88,”Twitter had ended this account by Wednesday morning. Police shared a photo of James, which was a screenshot from the same YouTube video. NBC News reported.
James has posted his views online over the years. He made profane and racist comments and sometimes used violence.
In a video posted Monday, James spoke of having wanted to kill people but said he didn’t want to go to jail. In a video posted April 6, James stated that more mass shootings were needed. He stated that the shooter is not the problem. It was the environment they live in that is the problem.
He spoke of a “race war,”The desire to “exterminate”Certain groups of people were targeted and he claimed that he suffered from mental illness. He also criticized New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ outreach efforts to the homeless, specifically on the subways.
“Eric Adams, Eric Adams: What are you doing, brother?”James spoke in one video. “What’s happening with this homeless situation,”He said it while referring to 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.
“Mr. Mayor, I’m a victim of your mental health program,” James said. “I’m 63 now full of hate, full of anger, and full of bitterness.”
He also criticised the care he claimed to have received at a facility. “What’s going on in that place is violence. Not physical violence, but the kind of violence a child experiences in grade school … that would make him go get a gun and shooting motherf******.”
Adams is aware of James’s posts online, saying on “TODAY”Wednesday “I was briefed by the police department on some of his social media posts. He appears to be all over the place according to the briefing.”
James spoke of President Vladimir Putin in Russia, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ukraine and the conflict in Ukraine. He likened the crisis to a race-war, which he claimed would happen.
“It’s just a matter of time before these white motherf****** decide, ‘Hey listen. Enough is enough. These n****** got to go,’”He said.
“And what’re you going to do? You gonna fight. And guess what? You gonna die. ‘Cause unlike President (Zelenskyy) over in Ukraine, nobody has your back. The whole world is against you. And you’re against your f****** self. So why should you be alive again is the f****** question. Why should a n***** be alive on this planet? Besides to pick cotton or chop sugar cane or tobacco.”
James’s Facebook appeared to be an ideological extension of his YouTube channel.
He posted photos of guns, body bags, and memes with violent captions.
“I like you! I think I will kill you last!”Read one meme he reposted March 22.
He reposted his 2017 post on March 7th, which read: “Please don’t make me prove it,”Along with a meme that said,
“They say the pen is mightier than the sword. I say the bullet is mightier than both them.”
He also reposted a post he had written years earlier that day. “Only death could stop me,”He wrote the following in 2019, sharing an image with the caption of what appeared to him as a body bag. “It’s never to late to say I love you.”
In another instance, he shared a post which seemed to contradict his apparent more dominant viewpoints.
“NYPD under attack dam(sic) shame,”He shared images of Wilber Mora and Jason Rivera, who died responding to a domestic violence emergency in Harlem in January.
He had written the following day. “If I can’t live, why should you?”
James’s whereabouts since Tuesday remained a mystery until he was arrested on Wednesday.
Before he was declared a wanted man, it is alleged that James boarded a Manhattan-bound N train in Brooklyn on Tuesday, police said.
Wearing a construction vest and a gray hooded sweatshirt, police claim that James put on a gas mask, detonated smoke bombs and began firing as the train made its way to the 36th Street and Fourth Avenue train station in Sunset Park at about 8:30 a.m., police said.
Officials said that James fled the scene of destruction after the train reached the station. Witnesses have posted social media videos that show the train passengers coughing and stabbing as others fled the station platform in panic.
“I saw fear in some of the people’s faces. Someone was crawling cause they had fallen over. People are screaming, running towards me,”Inside Edition, Sam Carcamo.
Laura Kavanagh, acting city fire commissioner, stated that the injuries were a mix of gunshot wounds, smoke inhalation, panic and smoke inhalation. Officials said that while none of the injuries were life-threatening, 10 people sustained serious injuries.
Late afternoon police were searching for a U-Haul with Arizona license plate AL31408, but investigators discovered that James had rented it out of Philadelphia. The crime scene contained the keys to both the van and the credit cards used to rent it. The New York Post reported. Officials said that a handgun was also found at the scene. It had been jammed, high capacity magazines, hatchet, fireworks, and gasoline.
New York police discovered the U-Haul white U-Haul parked at Gravesend in Brooklyn, four miles south from Sunset Park, around 5:20 p.m. The officers evacuated the area surrounding the vehicle, while they waited for the bomb squad and specialized emergency services unit.
According to the Post, investigators discovered items in the van that led them believe James was living there.
“This individual is still on the loose. This individual is dangerous,”Kathy Hochul, New York Governor, described Tuesday’s speech as “an amazing opportunity for New York.” “active shooter situation.”
Around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, the MetroCard James was believed to have purchased with a credit card was used to swipe into a Brooklyn subway station, NBC reported, citing law enforcement sources. “It’s believed he may have still been riding the train yesterday,” WNBC reporter Myles Miller tweeted.