Frank James, the man who was accused of 10 counts of committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transportation vehicle in New York in an April 12, 2022 subway attack, pleaded guilty to all counts. He also pleaded guilty to one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of his attack.
James committed a mass shooting on the subway in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. When sentenced, James faces up to life in prison on each of the 11 counts, a statement from the Department of Justice said.
Breaking: NYPD named Frank James as a person of interest in the #Brooklyn mass shooting. I looked into his social media. Like the Waukesha suspect & the Louisville BLM activist who allegedly tried to assassinate a mayoral candidate, he appeared to be a fan of black nationalism. pic.twitter.com/aUQZGakJfW
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) April 12, 2022
Merrick B. Garland, United States Attorney General and several others announced the guilty plea on Tuesday.
“On the morning of April 12, 2022, Frank James cold-bloodedly shot innocent New Yorkers traveling on the subway in Brooklyn, and brought terror to our great city. James’s crimes of violence have been met with swift justice,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace. “James’s admission of guilt to all eleven counts of the superseding indictment acknowledges the terror and pain he caused. This guilty plea is an important step towards holding James fully accountable and helping the victims of the defendant’s violence and our great city heal.”
Peace praised the efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force,and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for their assistance in the investigation.
“As described in court filings, the defendant set off 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 Justice Department will work relentlessly to hold accountable those who engage in mass violence and terrorize our communities.”
James used a Glock 17 handgun that he purchased legally in Ohio to conduct the mass shooting on the N subway train in Brooklyn. James, who was wearing an orange reflective jacket and yellow hardhat to appear like a MTA employee, set off a smoke bomb in the subway car before shooting at victims. The smoke device caused panic as passengers scrambled, which allowed James to shoot his victims more easily. 10 victims were struck by bullets.
“Frank James, as he admitted today, deliberately planned and carried out an attack of terror 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 those willing to commit acts of terror face the consequences of their actions,” stated FBI Assistant-Director in Charge Driscoll.
“Today’s guilty plea is a distinct 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,” stated NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell, according to a statement.
“Our nation’s largest transit system is the lifeblood of New York City. And its subway riders expect and deserve the brisk, coordinated, and meticulous work exhibited by everyone involved in bringing this terrible incident to a successful close. For their unwavering dedication to all the people we serve, I thank and commend the NYPD patrol officers who arrested Mr. James on the run, as well as each of the detectives and agents assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force who methodically shrunk his world until he had nowhere else to turn. Lastly, I also want to thank the public for their vigilance and their help in taking this violent criminal off of our streets.”
Following the attack by James, law enforcement officers searched his apartment and storage unit, discovering a stockpile of weapons, including, among other items: 9mm ammunition; a threaded 9mm pistol barrel, which allows for a silencer or suppresser 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 smoke canister.