Police hunted late into the night for the gunman who opened fire on a Brooklyn subway on Tuesday, an attack that left 10 people dead from gunfire and followed New York City’s long walk to normality the pandemic was interrupted again.
The search has focused in part on a man who police say hired a van who may be linked to the violence.
Investigators said they weren’t sure if the man, Frank R. James, was responsible for the shooting. But authorities were investigating social media videos in which the 62-year-old denounced the United States as a racist place steeped in violence, sometimes scolding the city’s mayor Eric Adams.
“This nation was born in violence, it will live by violence or the threat of it, and it will die a violent death. Nothing will stop that,” James said in a video.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell called the posts “of concern” and officers tightened security for Adams.
The gunman fired smoke grenades into a crowded subway car and then fired at least 33 shots with a 9mm handgun, police said. Five gunshot victims were in critical condition but were expected to survive. At least a dozen people who escaped gunshot wounds were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries.
One passenger, Jordan Javier, thought the first popping sound he heard was a dropped book. Then there was another bang, people were moving towards the front of the car and he noticed there was smoke, he said.
As the train pulled into the station, people ran out and were escorted to another train across the platform. Passengers cried and prayed as they drove away from the scene, Javier said.
“I’m just grateful to be alive,” he said.
The gunman fled in the chaos, leaving behind the gun, extended magazines, a hatchet, detonated and undetonated smoke grenades, a black garbage can, a wheelbarrow, petrol and the key to a U-Haul van.
That key led investigators to James, who has addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin, Police Chief James Essig said. The van was later found unoccupied near a subway station, where investigators determined the gunman had entered the train system, Essig said.
Circadian, obscene YouTube videos apparently posted by James, a black man, are full of violent language and bigoted comments, some against other blacks.
A video released on April 11 criticizes crimes against black people and says drastic action is needed.
“They’re getting kids to take machine guns here now and mow down innocent people,” says James. “It doesn’t get better until we make it better,” he said, adding that he thought things would only change if certain people were “stomped, kicked and tortured” out of their “comfort zone.”
Several videos mention New York’s subways.
A Feb. 20 video said the mayor-governor’s plan to address homelessness and safety in the subway system was “doomed to fail,” and described himself as a “victim” of the city’s mental health programs. A Jan. 25 video criticized Adams’ plan to end gun violence.
Adams, who is isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, said in a video statement that the city “will not allow New Yorkers to be terrorized, even by a single person.”
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/north-america/new-york-subway-attack-police-name-suspect-as-they-hunt-gunman-who-injured-10-people-41549197.html New York subway attack: Police name suspect while chasing gunman who injured 10 people