Frank R. James entered a Brooklyn subway station early Tuesday morning with an “completely premeditated” plan to unleash a barrage of bullets right into a automotive of commuters, an assault that federal prosecutors mentioned in a Thursday courtroom submitting may have resulted in a slaughter.
Mr. James, 62, is anticipated to look in federal courtroom in Brooklyn on Thursday, the primary main step in a case that has shocked New Yorkers, a bloody capturing on a subway prepare that prosecutors mentioned injured at the very least 30 individuals as smoke crammed the automotive, gunfire broke out and chaos erupted.
The capturing represented the worst crime on New York’s public-transit system in almost 4 many years. And it appeared that Mr. James was nicely ready to evade seize, the submitting mentioned. He arrived on the subway station within the Sundown Park neighborhood in a disguise: a yellow onerous hat and orange workman’s jacket with reflective tape, in response to the courtroom papers.
On the prepare, he fired “roughly 33 rounds in chilly blood at terrified passengers who had nowhere to run and nowhere to cover,” federal prosecutors wrote. “Quite a few passengers may have been killed.”
Mr. James is charged with finishing up a terrorist assault on a mass transit system, and faces as much as life in jail if convicted. A court-appointed lawyer for Mr. James didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Thursday’s submitting asks a Justice of the Peace choose to detain Mr. James pending trial, citing his “extreme and ongoing threat to the group.” Federal prosecutors mentioned that whereas Mr. James’s prolonged arrest report — almost a dozen low-level offenses, together with reckless endangerment, larceny and trespassing — might sound “unremarkable,” it paints “an image of an individual with a penchant for defying authority and who’s unable or unwilling to adapt his conduct to legislation.”
The courtroom papers supplied clues about how the federal government deliberate to handle the assault; the gunman’s motive stays an unanswered query, although Mr. James posted many movies on social media recording his livid complaints on all kinds of subjects.
It additionally remained unclear why a prepare line that cuts by way of immigrant-heavy neighborhoods in Brooklyn, like Sundown Park, a house to immigrants from many Asian and Latin American international locations, turned the goal of a brutal capturing. And it was unsure what Mr. James did between the time of the assault and his seize the subsequent day.
Within the hours after the capturing, the police found a set of belongings on the prepare, together with a Glock 9-millimeter handgun, three ammunition magazines and a bank card with Mr. James’s title on it. In addition they discovered ammunition and different weapons in a storage unit and condo rented by Mr. James, prosecutors famous.
He was captured by the authorities on Wednesday afternoon, close to a McDonald’s within the East Village, about 29 hours into an expansive manhunt that featured a number of federal and state businesses and a whole bunch of officers.
The arrest occurred with no wrestle as a rush of calls, movies and tweets poured in from New Yorkers saying that they had helped determine him or had noticed him earlier than his arrest. Mr. James, too, might have referred to as a police tip line to report himself, in response to at the very least two legislation enforcement officers with data of the investigation.
The capturing arrived at a tense second for New Yorkers, as town makes an attempt to include a spate of violent crimes and a rebuild civic life reordered by the pandemic. Different high-profile assaults within the subways current a frightening impediment to restoring former ridership ranges on a system that’s key to town’s economic system.