Suspect in subway shootings arrested, will be prosecuted for “terrorist attack”

“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.

In Youtube

The man had a YouTube page, called “prophetoftruth88” (prophet of truth) removed Wednesday morning for “community rules violation” from 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 returning to normal.

“We don’t get up in the morning thinking that we won’t make it home or that we’re going to get hurt on the way. This is New York, the city never stops,” said Sony Washington, a 35-year-old machinist, as he worried the suspect was still out in the wild. “I always pay attention to my surroundings 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.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP

33 bullets fired

On Tuesday morning, around 8:30 a.m. local time (12:30 p.m. French time), at a time when metro trains are overcrowded, the individual, wearing a gas mask, lit two devices that emitted smoke. to the car, then shot at the passenger as the train entered the station.

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New York subway shooting: What happened?

New York subway shooting: What happened?

Shootings in the New York subway left at least 23 injured on Tuesday, including ten by bullets. The suspect is still at large, but the attack is not currently the subject of a “terrorist investigation,” the police chief says.

“We were very lucky it wasn’t much more serious,” New York Police Chief Keechant Sewell said, summarizing 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. […]. He had never heard so many shots from a gun… […] He probably had extended magazines or another firearm,” added this man, hit in the 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 have marked the encouragements, such as the death on Friday of a 17-year-old girl, shot to death outside a high school in the Bronx.

Terrorist attack

US authorities said the shooter would be prosecuted under a law that prohibits “terrorist attacks and other acts of violence against […] public transportation,” said a federal prosecutor.

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