The suspect in the Tuesday morning New York City subway shooting, Frank James, 62, was arrested at 1:42 p.m. on Wednesday on the corner of St. Marks Place and First Avenue in Manhattan’s East Village. Shortly afterward, city officials gathered for a news conference.
Law enforcement sources told The New York Post they had allegedly received a Crime Stoppers tip from an individual who claimed to be James, saying he was at a McDonald’s at East 6th Street and First Avenue. When police arrived at the restaurant, James had already left. However, they soon caught up to him a couple of blocks away. James did not resist arrest.
By early Tuesday evening, the police had identified the suspect due to their diligence and James’ carelessness. After opening a smoke canister on a subway car and firing off 33 rounds at his fellow passengers on a Manhattan-bound N train at the 36th Street station in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, NBC News reported he’d escaped capture by hopping on a nearby R train.
James left critical clues behind. “The gun was recovered at the scene, as was a bag with smoke canisters and fireworks, along with a hatchet, a spray bottle of gasoline and a fuse,” according to NBC. Between this evidence, area surveillance cameras and credit card he had dropped, police knew who they were looking for pretty quickly. They posted photographs of James, which led to his capture today.
On 4/12/22 at 8:30 AM, Frank Robert James fired numerous gun shots inside an "N" line subway car at 36th St & 4th Ave subway station causing serious injuries to 10 people. Anyone with info about the incident or his whereabouts should contact @NYPDTips or call 1-800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/MaeF16i4bX
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 13, 2022
At the news conference which followed the arrest, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said James was “taken into custody without incident and has been transported to an NYPD facility [9th precinct]. He will be charged with committing yesterday’s appalling crime in Brooklyn.”
Sewell told reporters this was “an all-hands-on-deck investigation” that required the work of hundreds of law enforcement personnel.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the ATF and the U.S. Marshals’ Regional Fugitive Task Force all worked with the NYPD to make this arrest happen.
“We hope this arrest brings some solace to the victims and the people of the city of New York … We were able to shrink his world quickly. There was nowhere left for him to run,” Sewell added.
NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig told NBC police had recovered the black rolling suitcase James was seen taking into the subway station prior to the attack.
He also said James’ construction helmet and vest had been found in a trash bin not far from the scene.
James’ handgun was also left at the scene, and police were able to trace it to a 2011 purchase made in Ohio.
As they say, if there are 100 ways to get caught for a crime, the smartest criminal will think of 98 of them. It’s the two he forgets that will get him every time.
And from what we know of James, he’s nowhere close to being one of the smartest.