Accused subway gunman set to face terrorism and weapons charges
Suspected subway gunman Frank James is due back in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon.
James, who is accused of opening fire on a crowded subway car last month, is expected to be charged with one count of terrorism attack on public transport and one count of discharging a firearm in a violent crime before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann in downtown Brooklyn. .
Ten people were shot and twenty others injured in the April 12 mayhem that unfolded on a northbound N train near the 36th Street station in Sunset Park during the morning rush hour. The attack rocked the city and sparked a day-long manhunt for the person who detonated a smoke bomb and then opened fire.
Eventually James called an NYPD tip line himself and was arrested after apparently wandering the Lower East Side and East Village for several hours. Passers-by at a hardware store on First Avenue noticed it and flagged down a nearby police car.
Police said they first connected James to the attack via a 9mm Glock found at the crime scene that James legally purchased in 2011 in Ohio. He also left behind a key U-haul investigator traced to a truck James had rented in his name, which police found several miles from the scene of the attack. As surveillance cameras on the subway platform malfunctioned, other cameras captured pre-attack and post-attack footage of someone who looked like James entering and exiting the subway system at nearby stations.
In hours of YouTube videos, James decried homelessness on the subway, warned he might do some kind of random attack and not be found, fantasized about acts of violence and slammed Mayor Eric Adams, all while expressing all sorts of racist and homophobic views. . He also mentions a mental health diagnosis of PTSD and his federal defenders have asked him for a psychiatric evaluation.
Last week, a federal grand jury indicted James. He has been held at the Sunset Park Metropolitan Detention Center for a month, where his lawyers say FBI agents entered his cell, questioned him and took a DNA sample without showing him a warrant or authorizing the presence of lawyers. Judge Mann said she would determine whether this evidence could be used at a later date.