The suspect in a mass shooting Tuesday on a New York City subway was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with a federal terrorism offense, Breon Peace, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, told reporters.
Frank R. James, 62, was arrested in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood after police received a tip. According to The New York Times, he was taken into custody without incident.
"My fellow New Yorkers, we got him,” Mayor Eric Adams said from Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the New York City mayor, where he is recovering from COVID-19.
James allegedly set off a smoke grenade on a subway train and then opened fire on other riders as the train approached the 36th Street station in Brooklyn, one of the city’s boroughs. Ten people were shot, with five reportedly in serious but stable condition. All were expected to survive.
“We were able to shrink his world quickly,” New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said during the press conference Wednesday after James' capture. “There was nowhere left for him to run.”
One key to locating James was a U-Haul van that he had rented and was discovered eight kilometers from the scene.
New York Police Chief of Detectives Jim Essig told reporters late Tuesday that the key for the van was found at the Brooklyn subway station where the shooting occurred. Essig said James rented the van in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photos and videos posted to social media on Tuesday showed bloodied victims spilling onto the platform and smoke lingering in the air.
"My subway door opened into calamity. It was smoke and blood and people screaming," eyewitness Sam Carcamo told local radio station WINS.
Police also recovered other items linked to the shooter, including a handgun, ammunition for it, discharged shell casings, bullets, two detonated smoke grenades and two that were not detonated, as well as a hatchet, a trash can, a rolling cart and gasoline.
Police were hampered in their investigation because security cameras were not working in the station where the shooting took place or at two other stations along the route.
A motive for the shootings was still unknown, but online videos posted on James’ social media account portray a man angry about many things.
In the videos, he rages about a number of subjects, including racism, violence in the Black community, homelessness and the policies of Adams.
The attack came against a backdrop of rising violent crime in the city, including the recent killings of a 16-year-old girl and a grandmother, as well as crime on the subway.
Adams, a former police officer who took office in January, has said reducing crime is a top priority of his administration.
VOA’s Margaret Besheer and Richard Green contributed to this report.