Suspected NYC subway gunman arrested and charged with ‘act of terrorism’
The man suspected of having fired in the New York subway at rush hour on Tuesday morning, injuring 29, including 10 by bullets, was arrested on Wednesday and will be prosecuted for “terrorist attack”, announced the authorities.
The suspect, who had caused chaos the day before in the underground network, was arrested in Manhattan at 1:42 p.m. thanks to a report, according to the New York police.
“We got it,” welcomed the Democratic Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, at a press conference, expected at the turn on the theme of the fight against crime, he who had made it a theme of campaign to be elected last year.
Police had been conducting a manhunt for more than 24 hours for Frank James, a 62-year-old African American accused of multiple shootings on an N line train at 36th street station. in south Brooklyn.
The man, known to the police, had already been arrested 12 times in New York and New Jersey, in particular for “sex offences”, “theft” or “disturbance of public order”, specified authorities.
But he had never been convicted of a crime in New York State.
He is now “under federal prosecution for his act, a terrorist attack on public transport”, announced the federal police officer Michael Driscoll.
“He will appear in federal court in Brooklyn and, if convicted, will face a life sentence,” prosecutor Breon Peace said.
Frank James had a YouTube page, dubbed “prophetoftruth88” (prophet of truth) taken down Wednesday morning for “violating the community rules” of the site. He has published multiple videos where we see him launching long tirades, sometimes rambling and vehement, in which he evokes racial issues, insecurity in New York, especially on the subway, and attacks homosexual people, or new mayor Eric Adams.
As of Wednesday morning, millions of New Yorkers had taken to the subway, one of the largest networks in the world, to go to work, some sharing selfies on social media to show that life was returning to normal.
“I always pay attention to what surrounds me since September 11 (2001). But there have been more incidents on the docks recently, so I’m paying more attention,” added Laura Swalm, 49, who lives in neighboring New Jersey.
The day before, around 8:30 a.m., when the metro trains are crowded, the individual, who was wearing a gas mask, lit two devices which smoked the car, then shot at the passengers as the train entered in the resort.
“We were really lucky it wasn’t much more serious,” New York Police Chief Keechant Sewell said, summing up the authorities’ relief. The suspect fired 33 bullets.
“All you see is black smoke, and I turned to the right, and I saw this guy with a mask,” testified on CNN one of the victims, Hourari Benkada, since his hospital bed.
“The shooting lasted about a minute (…). I have never heard so many shots come out of a handgun… (…) He probably had extended magazines or another firearm”, added this man, hit in the knee . At the scene, investigators found a handgun and three magazines.
The attack came as New York has faced a spike in crime since the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of homicides rising from 319 in 2019 to 488 in 2021, although the annual toll remains well in below the more than 2000 per year recorded in the early 1990s.
Shootings have also remained on the rise since the start of the year, going from 260 to 296 in the first quarter of 2022, according to police figures, some of which have made an impression, such as the death on Friday of a 17-year-old girl. , shot dead outside a high school in the Bronx.