Man arrested over shooting of 10 people on New York subway train

Frank James to face federal terrorism charges after police swoop in East Village

A man arrested over the shooting of 10 people on a New York subway train on Tuesday is to face federal terrorism charges.

Frank James, who had been earlier identified by authorities in New York as a suspect in the case, was arrested by police officers in the East Village area of Manhattan just after lunchtime on Wednesday.

New York mayor Eric Adams told a press conference shortly afterwards: "My fellow New Yorkers, we got him. We got him."

New York police commissioner Keechant Sewell said Mr James had been arrested "without incident" by officers and taken into custody following a tip-off as to his whereabouts.

The US attorney for the eastern district of New York, Breon Peace, said Mr James had been charged with a terrorism offence. If convicted, he faces a possible sentence of up to life in prison.

Officials said Mr James was arrested on foot of a tip- off that he was in a McDonald’s restaurant on 6th Street and 1st Avenue.

Officers responded and went to the McDonald’s, and when Mr James was not present, they began driving around the neighbourhood. They found him on the corner of St Mark’s Place and 1st Avenue, one of the busiest intersections in the East Village, and took him into custody without incident.

Ms Sewell said: “We were able to shrink his world quickly. There was nowhere left for him to run.”

Police said Mr James had an extensive arrest record, including nine prior arrests in New York from 1992 to 1998 for possession of burglary tools, a criminal sex act and theft of service. He also had three arrests in New Jersey from 1991 to 2007, including for trespassing, larceny and disorderly conduct.

Police said that in the incident on Tuesday a masked gunman had set off smoke grenades in a crowded subway carriage at a station in Brooklyn and then fired at least 33 shots with a 9mm handgun.

Ten people were wounded in the shootings but none have life-threatening injuries. At least a dozen others were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries sustained in the panic and rush to get out of the station following the attack.

The gunman escaped from the scene but police said he had left behind numerous clues including the gun, ammunition magazines, a hatchet, smoke grenades, gasoline and the key to a U-Haul van.

The key to the van led investigators to Mr James, a 62-year-old New York city area native who had more recent addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin.

Law enforcement officials maintained that the gun used in the shooting had been purchased by Mr James at a pawn shop – a licensed firearms dealer – in the Columbus, Ohio, area in 2011.

Security surrounding the New York mayor had been tightened after social media posts emerged in which Mr James criticised Mr Adams.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent

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