A federal terrorism charge was filed against Frank James, the disturbed loner accused of carrying out a savage assault on a Brooklyn subway train that left 29 people wounded. James is ordered to stay behind bars without bail. In addition, James will be subjected to a psychiatric evaluation, The New York Post Reports.
As described by federal prosecutors, James is accused of “terrifyingly opened fire” on a subway car in Sunset Park on Tuesday, “in a way this city has not seen in more than 20 years…. And caused terror among the victims and our entire city,” The Post Notes.
On Tuesday morning, just before 8:30 a.m., James, 62, is suspected of boarding a Manhattan-bound R train and tossing two smoke bombs into a packed subway car before opening fire with a Glock 9 mm pistol and firing 33 shots into the carriage.
According to authorities, James had grown more deranged in recent years, uploading multiple weird and racist rants on YouTube, blaming, among others, Mayor Eric Adams for his poor social status.
According to the affidavit, he made a reservation for a U-Haul cargo van on April 6 and picked it up on Monday, crossing the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge at 4:10 a.m. on Tuesday.
In an orange construction vest and hauling a huge rolling bag containing weapons, ammo, a hatchet, and other items, he parked the van on Kings Highway approximately 6:10 a.m., two blocks from the N train station on 36th Street, according to the FBI.
Fox 5 NY reports that, in a video released a day before the incident, James laments violence against African-Americans and claims that only by “stomping, kicking, and torturing” particular individuals would crime against African-Americans decrease.
In a yellow hard helmet and an orange working jacket with reflective tape, surveillance cameras saw James accessing the subway system turnstiles on Tuesday morning, posing as a maintenance or construction worker.
He was heard saying just “oops” by his fellow metro travelers when he fired off one smoke grenade in an overcrowded subway vehicle as it approached a stop, according to the police. He then allegedly detonated a second smoke grenade and began shooting, according to authorities. In the midst of the smoke and confusion that occurred, investigators believe James was able to make his escape by sneaking aboard a train that had driven into the station across the platform and departed after the first stop.
In addition to the rifle and magazines, a hatchet, exploded and undetonated smoke grenades, a black trash can, a rolling cart, gas cans, and the key to a U-Haul vehicle were all discovered abandoned at the scene, according to authorities.
James is said to have gotten off the train at 25th Street and vanished, sparking a huge search that included a raid on James’ Philadelphia apartment by the FBI and local police early Wednesday morning. Later that day, James phoned Crime Stoppers and provided information about where he may be found, which resulted in police apprehending him near an East Village McDonald’s.
Authorities promptly filed terrorism-related accusations against him with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A legal expert said Wednesday that the federal terrorism charge is appropriate in this case because James is accused of crossing state lines with the intent to cause physical harm and of using public transportation to carry out his attack. The federal terrorism charge carries harsher penalties than the state terrorism charge.
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