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A man named Frank James has been upgraded from a person of interest to a suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting that left at least 23 people injured on Tuesday morning, according to the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
Going through videos, cell phone data and witness testimony during an 18-hour investigation, NYPD confirmed Frank James, 62, is their prime suspect, according to NYC Mayor Eric Adams.
“At this time, based on the preliminary investigation, we believe he was alone,” Mayor Adams told ABC News in an interview Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”
Police believe James rented a U-Haul van ahead of the attack on multiple subway stations along the northbound N train line in Brooklyn.
The incident took place on a Manhattan-bound N subway car during the Tuesday morning commute, just before 8:30 a.m. ET, as the train approached the 36th Street subway station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood.
According to police sources: “The key to James’ van was found at the scene of the crime, along with a credit card that rented the vehicle out of Philadelphia, the New York Post reported.
NYPD searching for Frank James after Brooklyn subway shooting
Meanwhile, police also allege they found YouTube videos of Frank James ranting against Mayor Eric Adams, along with conspiracy theories about a race war.
While it wasn’t immediately clear whether the videos had been taken down, descriptions of the video by CNN claim James ranted against Black people and other groups in a series of videos.
“We need to see more mass shootings. Yeah. … We need to see more, there has to be more mass shootings to make a n***er understand. … It’s not about the shooter; it’s about the environment in which he is, he has to exist,” Frank allegedly said in one video.
James also allegedly ranted against homelessness, the war in Ukraine, and the mayor himself, causing NYPD to increase security for Mayor Adams.
Police budget as high as the military expenses for some countries
Meanwhile, activist Shaun King called out the NYPD on social media for their response to the shooting.
“Police were THERE & stopped nothing, saw nothing. Police were supposed to stop the trains, and didn’t. So they have no idea where the man got off,” King tweeted.
Mayor Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, has called for more funding and a stronger police presence in NYC’s subways since becoming the city’s second Black mayor in January.
The city has proposed a $5.5 billion budget for the police department, which amounts to nearly the entire military budget of Ukraine in 2020. In fact, when adding in police pension, fringe benefits, settlements and debt payments, the NYPD budget actually swells to $10 billion, according to Business Insider.
The disconnect between funding for the NYPD and rising crime has poked holes in the idea that more police funding equates to safer communities.
“We are going to continue to close the loop around him and bring him in, and continue the investigation into this horrific act against innocent New Yorkers,” Adams said on MSNBC.
NYPD remains on the lookout for Frank James, as of Wednesday morning.