Suspect still at large after Brooklyn subway station shooting

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 6:27 p.m. ET, April 13, 2022
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6:27 p.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Here's what you need to know about the arrest of the Brooklyn subway shooter

From CNN Staff

Suspected Brooklyn subway shooter Frank James is escorted out of the 9th Precinct by law enforcement officials after being arrested in New York's East Village neighborhood on Wednesday April 13.
Suspected Brooklyn subway shooter Frank James is escorted out of the 9th Precinct by law enforcement officials after being arrested in New York's East Village neighborhood on Wednesday April 13. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Suspected Brooklyn subway shooter Frank James was arrested today in New York's East Village neighborhood, officials say, after police received a tip.

James was arrested after an intensive manhunt after authorities recovered a U-Haul van in Brooklyn, which officials believed was rented by the suspect after keys were found at the scene. The shooter's motive is still unknown, officials say.

James has so far been charged with violating a law that prohibits terrorist and other violent attacks against a mass transportation system, according to the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York. He will be arraigned in federal court.

Ten people were shot at a Brooklyn subway station Tuesday, officials said. Authorities said the suspect put on a gas mask, deployed a gas canister and then began shooting, firing at least 33 times.

If you're catching up, here's what else you need to know about today's developments in the Brooklyn subway shooting:

  • Suspect in Brooklyn subway shooting called in the Crime Stoppers tip on himself: The suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting called in a tip to Crime Stoppers that led to his capture, two law enforcement sources tell CNN. Frank James called in the tip to the police and told them he was at a McDonald’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the sources confirmed. Police responded to the McDonald's and did not find James, the police official said. But upon driving around they spotted him on the corner of St. Marks Place and 1st Avenue and arrested him, officials said at the news conference.
  • James to be charged in federal court: The Brooklyn US Attorney said today that the subway shooting suspect will be charged in federal court. Breon Peace, US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said that James will face multiple counts, including the use of a dangerous weapon to cause death and serious injury to passengers and employees on the New York subway system. Peace said that James has been charged with one count of violating 18 U.S.C. 1992(a)(7), which prohibits terrorist and other violent attacks against mass transportation systems. He will face a sentence of up to life imprisonment if convicted, Peace said.
  • James to make first court appearance on Thursday: James will have his initial court appearance on Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn, according to John Marzulli, spokesperson for the US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York. The timing for the court appearance will be confirmed Thursday morning, Marzulli said. James is now in federal custody. CNN has reached out to his federal defender, Mia Eisner-Grynberg, for comment.
  • New York governor and NYC mayor react to the news of James' arrest: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she's "deeply grateful" that the suspected Brooklyn subway shooter was arrested and is directing state agencies to assist in the investigation, in a statement Wednesday. The statement continued, "My heart is with all those who are injured, their loved ones, and the entire Sunset Park community. The epidemic of gun violence that continues to terrorize communities across this country must end. My pledge to New Yorkers is this: I will fight every day to restore public safety, get guns off our streets, and prevent these horrific acts of violence." New York City Mayor Eric Adams opened a news conference following the arrest of Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James telling New Yorkers "we got him."

5:17 p.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Brooklyn subway shooting suspect to appear in court on Thursday

From CNN's Laura Ly & Sonia Moghe

New York City Police and law enforcement officials lead subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, center, away from a police station, in New York on Wednesday, April 13.
New York City Police and law enforcement officials lead subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, center, away from a police station, in New York on Wednesday, April 13. (Seth Wenig/AP)

Shooting suspect Frank James will have his initial court appearance on Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn, according to John Marzulli, spokesperson for the US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.

The timing for the court appearance will be confirmed Thursday morning, Marzulli said.

James is now in federal custody. CNN has reached out to his federal defender, Mia Eisner-Grynberg, for comment.

5:50 p.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Suspect in Brooklyn subway shooting called in the Crime Stoppers tip that caught him, sources say

From CNN's Brynn Gingras and Mark Morales

The suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting called in a tip to Crime Stoppers that led to his capture, two law enforcement sources tell CNN.

Frank James called in the tip to the police and told them he was at a McDonald’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the sources confirmed.

At an earlier news conference Wednesday, an NYPD official said the tip indicated the suspect was at a McDonald's on 6th Street and 1st Avenue.

Police responded to the McDonald's and did not find James, the police official said.

But upon driving around they spotted him on the corner of St. Marks Place and 1st Avenue and arrested him, officials said at the news conference.

5:45 p.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Authorities believe Brooklyn subway shooting suspect attempted to deface the serial number on gun

From CNN’s Sonia Moghe

An image of the Glock 17 found at the scene had scratch marks on its serial number. 
An image of the Glock 17 found at the scene had scratch marks on its serial number.  (From US Attorneys Office, EDNY)

The Glock 17 that authorities found at the scene of the Brooklyn subway shooting had scratch marks on its serial number, according to a court document.

A complaint against suspected Brooklyn subway shooter Frank James shows a photo of the Glock pistol with scratches over two areas where a serial number appears, and prosecutors said they believe the marks "appear to reflect that an attempt was made to deface the serial number."

Prosecutors said in the complaint that they believe the gun was purchased lawfully in Ohio by a man named Frank Robert James, and that it was used in the shooting.

4:42 p.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Gov. Hochul: "I am deeply grateful" that the suspected Brooklyn subway shooter has been apprehended

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is seen during a press conference at the site of a shooting at the 36 St subway station on April 12.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is seen during a press conference at the site of a shooting at the 36 St subway station on April 12. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she's "deeply grateful" that the suspected Brooklyn subway shooter was arrested and is directing state agencies to assist in the investigation, in a statement Wednesday.

"Like all New Yorkers, I am deeply grateful that the suspect in yesterday's subway shooting has been apprehended and thankful for law enforcement and every first responder whose heroic efforts helped New York City respond to this horrific incident. I have directed all State agencies to provide every possible resource to assist in the investigation," she said.  

The statement continued, "My heart is with all those who are injured, their loved ones, and the entire Sunset Park community. The epidemic of gun violence that continues to terrorize communities across this country must end. My pledge to New Yorkers is this: I will fight every day to restore public safety, get guns off our streets, and prevent these horrific acts of violence."

4:22 p.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Brooklyn subway shooting suspect documented his travel to New York in YouTube videos

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Aileen Graef

Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James documented his travel from Wisconsin to the northeast over a series of YouTube videos posted in recent weeks. 

In a video uploaded on March 20, James said that he had left Milwaukee — authorities have said he is associated with addresses in Wisconsin — and was spending the night in a Fort Wayne, Indiana, hotel.

"Just on the drive man I'm just thinking because I'm heading back into the danger zone so to speak," he said in that video. "You know, it is triggering a lot of negative thoughts of course because I do suffer, I have a bad severe case of post-traumatic stress after the sh*t I've been through all the f***ing years man."

James indicated that he was transporting all his belongings in the van and that he would be storing some of them in a Philadelphia-area storage unit. Although James said that Philadelphia was his final destination, he said that the Penske truck he rented needed to be dropped off in Newark, New Jersey.

CNN reached out to Penske, who would not confirm that James rented a van, but did say they had reached out to the FBI to assist in their investigation.

After the night in Fort Wayne, James continued east and made his way to Pittsburgh, where he said in a video uploaded on March 21 that he was staying in a hotel near the Pittsburgh International Airport.

The next night, in another video, James said that he had gotten a hotel near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

In that video, he is seen drinking whiskey and later, begins to show signs of intoxication. Towards the end of the video, he begins slurring his words and at one point, he says he is falling asleep.

He said that he had recently stopped drinking because it gave him "the shakes."

Around March 25, James uploaded a video claiming that he had made it to the Philadelphia area. It's unclear where James was between March 22 and March 25 based on the videos.

In that March 25 video, James said he was staying in a Best Western hotel in Bordentown, New Jersey. He also gave his room number and a small tour of the room.

James is also seen drinking in that video.

“Alright, so I tried to get high by dragging some Jim Beam a little earlier to make this video," he said. "Want to be high to make this video because I felt that I couldn't really — I seem to do my best work when I'm high."

James also said that he was last in New York "a few years ago.

In the video, James also mentions that he would be staying in the hotel until March 28, when he would move to other lodging inside Philadelphia.

The videos have since been removed by YouTube.

CNN has confirmed that James rented a short-term rental apartment on West Ontario Street in Philadelphia. A neighbor identified James to CNN, saying that James was at the apartment last week seen taking boxes out of a U-Haul truck.

The neighbor also told CNN that law enforcement recently searched the apartment.

In a criminal complaint unsealed after James was taken into custody, prosecutors alleged that James did in fact rent an apartment and a storage unit in Philadelphia. Records from rideshare operator Lyft indicate that he visited the facility on April 11 on 6:17 p.m. ET, according to the complaint.

Those records also indicate that James ordered approximately 21 rides to and from the apartment from March 28 and April 10. CNN has reached out to the management company for the Philadelphia apartment for comment but has not yet received a response.

According to the complaint, records from the apartment management company indicate James rented the apartment for at least 15 days.

James did not mention any plans to visit the New York area or convey any concrete plans that he was planning a shooting in the videos that CNN has reviewed.

CNN has previously reported that on April 6, James made a reservation to pick up a U-Haul van on April 11 in Philadelphia, according to documentation of the transaction.

At 4 a.m. ET Tuesday, just hours before the attack, James drove the U-Haul van into Brooklyn from Staten Island across the Verrazzano bridge, CNN has reported.

James was taken into custody on Manhattan's Lower East Side on Wednesday afternoon around 2 p.m. ET.

4:23 p.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Video shows moment subway shooting suspect was arrested

From CNN's Brynn Gingras, Pervaiz Shallwani and Carol Alvarado

New York City Police Department officers arrest subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, in the East Village section, of New York on Wednesday, April 13.
New York City Police Department officers arrest subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, in the East Village section, of New York on Wednesday, April 13. (Meredith Goldberg/AP)

CNN has obtained new video showing the arrest of subway shooting suspect Frank James.

Officials said James was arrested without incident by patrol officers on the street in New York's East Village neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon after police got a tip on its Crime Stoppers hotline.

The video shows James in handcuffs being escorted by two police officers in the street.

Watch the video here:

3:34 p.m. ET, April 13, 2022

YouTube removes account linked to Brooklyn shooting suspect

From CNN’s Clare Duffy and Richard Davis

YouTube confirmed on Wednesday that it removed an account that appeared to be from Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James.

James, who was arrested on Thursday as a suspect in the New York subway shooting, had talked about violence and mass shootings in videos posted on the social media platform — including one uploaded Monday.

“Following the tragic event in New York City, our Trust and Safety team identified and terminated a YouTube channel associated with the suspect, in accordance with our creator responsibility guidelines,” YouTube spokesperson Jack Malon said in a statement.

Malon went on to say that YouTube’s systems are “prominently surfacing videos from authoritative sources in search and recommendations.”

3:12 p.m. ET, April 13, 2022

How investigators tracked and arrested the subway shooting suspect after he fired at passengers 

Chief of Detectives James Essig speaks during a press conference on April 13 in New York.
Chief of Detectives James Essig speaks during a press conference on April 13 in New York. (WABC)

New York City Police Department Chief of Detectives James Essig detailed what suspect Frank James did after shooting at passengers on a Brooklyn subway on Tuesday.

"We believe, but this is still early in the investigation, that after firing his weapon 33 times at innocent New York City subway riders, Mr. James boarded an R train that had pulled into the station, went one stop up and exited at the 25th Street station. We also have a picture of that. The gun used in this — a 9 millimeter Glock — which was recovered at this crime scene, was purchased by Mr. James in 2011 in Ohio," Essig said.

The official also noted that the construction helmet James was wearing was recovered in a garbage bin.

Essig said officials then tracked James' location before he was arrested.

"We tracked Mr. James, and his last known whereabouts was 7th Avenue and 9th Street in Park Slope, entering the subway. Minutes ago, thankfully, NYPD patrol officers from the 9th Precinct responded to St. Marks [Place] and First Avenue, where they apprehended him without incident," Essig said, noting that the suspect was in Park Slope at about 9:15 a.m. ET yesterday.

Kenneth Corey, the NYPD chief of department, described how the arrest unfolded today, explaining that investigators got a CrimeStoppers tip that the suspect was in a McDonald's at 6th Street and First Avenue in the East Village.

"Officers respond to the McDonald's. He's not in the McDonald's. They start driving around the neighborhood looking for him, they see him on the corner of St. Marks [Place] and First [Avenue] and they take him into custody," he said.

The case was quickly solved using technology and video canvassing, he added. He also thanked federal and regional partners.