Frank James Pleads Guilty to Mass Shooting on New York Subway

Frank James Pleads Guilty to Mass Shooting on New York Subway

Frank James, 63, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty Tuesday to 10 counts of committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transit vehicle — one count for each gunshot victim — and one count of discharging a firearm in support of his attack. The charges relate to the defendant’s April 12, 2022 mass shooting on the New York City subway in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

According to court documents, during rush hour on the morning of April 12, 2022, James used a Glock 17 handgun he had purchased legally in Ohio to carry out a mass shooting on an N subway train in Brooklyn, New York. As part of his attack, James – disguised in an orange reflective jacket and a yellow hard hat to look like a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) employee – planted a smoke-emitting device in a subway car before opening fire on his captive victims. The smoke-emitting device caused panicked passengers to scramble to one end of the subway car, allowing James to more easily fire on his victims. A total of 10 victims were hit by the defendant’s bullets. Even more passengers suffered from smoke inhalation and other mental and physical injuries due to the defendant’s attack.

“As described in court filings, the defendant planted a smoke bomb in a New York City subway car and then fired a handgun more than 30 times, striking ten innocent passengers,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Today’s guilty plea demonstrates that the Department of Justice will work tirelessly to hold accountable those who engage in mass violence and terrorize our communities.”

“On the morning of April 12, 2022, Frank James cold-bloodedly shot innocent New Yorkers riding the Brooklyn subway and brought terror to our great city. James’ crimes of violence have met with swift justice,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York. “James’ guilty plea to all eleven counts of the superseding indictment acknowledges the terror and pain he caused. This guilty plea is an important step toward holding James fully accountable and helping the victims of the defendant’s violence and our great city heal.”

“Frank James, as he admitted today, deliberately planned and carried out a terrorist attack on everyday New Yorkers. The FBI’s JTTF and our law enforcement partners remain ever vigilant in our efforts to protect our city, and we will ensure that those willing to commit acts of terror face the consequences of their actions,” said Assistant Director charged Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI. New York field office.

“Today’s guilty plea is a clear admission of the terror Mr. James inflicted on New Yorkers last April in Brooklyn, and he is being held accountable for his reprehensible actions that morning,” said Police Department Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. of New York City. NYPD). “Our nation’s largest transit system is the lifeblood of New York City. And its Metro leaders expect and deserve the prompt, coordinated and meticulous work exhibited by all involved in bringing this horrific incident to a successful conclusion. For their unwavering dedication to all the people we serve, I thank and congratulate the NYPD patrol officers who arrested Mr. he had nowhere to turn. Finally, I also want to thank the public for their vigilance and assistance in removing this violent criminal from our streets.”

The investigation reflects that the attack was the culmination of substantial planning. Beginning in 2017, James began purchasing items he could use in an attack, including smoke grenades, ammunition, weapons and his own disguise. In the months before his attack, James conducted Internet searches for “MTA,” “New York,” “transit,” “N train stop,” and “311 Kings Highway Brooklyn ny,” which is near where James parked the van his rented U-Haul before entering the subway. The defendant also recorded and posted online videos outlining his plans, including stating that “if you hear the name Frank James on the news, if something happens to a Frank James who is sixty-something years old, chances are it’s going to be me.”

After James’ attack, law enforcement officers searched James’ apartment and storage unit and discovered a cache of weapons, including, among other things, 9mm ammunition; a threaded 9mm pistol barrel, which allows a silencer or suppressor to be attached; .223 caliber ammunition, which is used with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle; a taser; a high-capacity rifle magazine; and a blue smokebox.

James faces up to life in prison on each of the 11 charges. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

The FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which consists primarily of FBI agents and NYPD detectives, is investigating the case. MTA has provided valuable assistance.

Assistant US Attorneys Ian C. Richardson, Sara K. Winik and Ellen H. Sise for the Eastern District of New York are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance provided by Paralegal Specialist Magdalena St. Surin and Trial Attorney David Cora of the Division’s Homeland Security Counterterrorism Section.

Read more at the Department of Justice

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