IHe is suspected of having fired on a New York subway train in the morning rush hour on Tuesday, injuring 30 people, 10 of whom were shot. Accused of having “sowed terror throughout the city”, Frank James was remanded in custody on Thursday 14 April. The 62-year-old African-American, arrested the day before without resistance in the street in Manhattan, appeared for the first time in federal court in Brooklyn, wearing a loose khaki shirt.
In silence, sometimes taking notes between his two lawyers, the suspect listened to the charges against him, in particular that of “terrorist attack” which puts him at risk of life in prison. Judge Roanne Mann ordered that he be remanded in custody. “He opened fire on the passengers of a crowded subway train, disrupting their morning commute in a way this city has not seen in over two decades,” prosecutor Sara Winik said, a reference to the deadly attacks by the September 11, 2001 which permanently traumatized New York.
The suspect was active on YouTube
The suspect was wearing a gas mask and set off two smoke devices, filling the train with smoke before firing. The prosecution has revised the balance sheet upwards, bringing it to 30 wounded, including 10 by gunshot, against 23 at the start. According to the prosecutor, his attack was premeditated and carefully planned. If this bloody attack, committed in a busy station in the south of Brooklyn, 36th Street, did not cause deaths, it caused great emotion in the megalopolis of nearly 9 million inhabitants, already affected by an increase crime and shootings since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday, New York police recorded no fewer than 14 separate shootings and shootings, including in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and 4 homicides. Frank James’s lawyer, Mia Eisner-Grynberg, warned against any “hasty judgment” of her client, already arrested 12 times in the past for various offenses. The police had traced Frank James in particular thanks to the key to a van he rented, discovered at the crime scene. The man had a YouTube page, called “prophetoftruth88” (prophet of truth), where he was seen launching into long tirades, sometimes rambling and vehement, on racial issues and insecurity in New York.