Frank James, a 62-year-old African-American, was suspected of being the perpetrator of the New York subway shootings. He was arrested on Wednesday night, according to various US media.
The man suspected of shooting in the New York subway at rush hour on Tuesday morning, wounding 23, including 10 with bullets, was arrested on Wednesday, several US media reported, citing police sources. He will be prosecuted under a law that prohibits “terrorist attacks and other acts of violence against … public transportation,” a federal prosecutor announced. “He will appear in federal court in Brooklyn and, if he is convicted, he will face life in prison,” prosecutor Breon Peace said at a news conference.
The suspect, who had wreaked havoc on the subway the day before, was found in Manhattan, according to NBC television. “We will continue to tighten the trap around him and stop him,” New York Democratic Mayor Eric Adams promised in the morning, expected in turn on the issue of fighting crime, who had made it a campaign issue. to be elected last year.
Police had been searching for more than 24 hours for Frank James, a 62-year-old black man accused of multiple shootings on an N Line train at the 36th Street station in south Brooklyn. On Wednesday, New Yorkers received an “urgent” message on their phones asking them to turn over any useful information to investigators. A $50,000 reward had been put on the table.
The man had a YouTube page, called “prophetoftruth88” (prophet of truth), removed Wednesday morning for “violation of the community rules” of the site. There he published multiple videos where we see him launching long diatribes, sometimes rambling and vehement, in which he evokes racial issues, insecurity in New York, especially in the subway, and attacks homosexual people, or the new mayor Eric Adams.
As the search for the shooter, described as “dangerous” the day before, continued, millions of New Yorkers took the subway, one of the world’s largest networks, to work, some posting selfies on social media to show that life was coming back. to normal. “You don’t get up in the morning thinking you’re not going to get home or that you’re going to get hurt going there. It’s New York, the city never stops,” Sony Washington, a 35-year-old machinist, told AFP while worried. that the suspect is still in the wild.
“I always pay attention to my surroundings since September 11 (2001). But recently there have been more incidents on the docks, so I pay more attention,” added Laura Swalm, 49, who lives in the neighboring state of New Jersey.
33 bullets fired
On Tuesday morning, around 08:30 (12:30 GMT), at a time when subway trains are crowded, the subject, wearing a gas mask, lit two devices that smoked the car, then shot at passengers while train entered the station. “We were very lucky it wasn’t much more serious,” New York Police Chief Keechant Sewell said, summing up authorities’ relief.
The suspect fired 33 rounds. “All you see is black smoke, and I turned right, and I saw this guy with a mask,” one of the victims, Hourari Benkada, testified on CNN from her hospital bed. “The shooting lasted about a minute (…). I have never heard so many shots coming out of a gun… (…) It probably had extended magazines or some other weapon on fire,” added the man. , bruised knee. At the scene, investigators found a pistol and three magazines.
The attack came as New York has faced a surge in crime since the covid-19 pandemic, with the number of homicides rising from 319 in 2019 to 488 in 2021, though the annual figure remains well below estimates. more than 2,000 recorded per year in the early 1990s. Shootings have also been on the rise since the beginning of the year, rising from 260 to 296 in the first quarter of 2022, according to police figures, some of which set the mood. , like the death on Friday of a 17-year-old girl, shot to death outside a high school in the Bronx.