By Brynn Gingras, Mark Morales, Shimon Prokupecz, Laura Ly, Kristina Sgueglia, Pervaiz Shallwani and Artemis Moshtaghian
NEW YORK – Frank James, the man arrested after a roughly 30-hour manhunt on suspicion of shooting 10 people on a train headed to a Brooklyn subway station Tuesday morning, will make his initial court appearance Thursday, authorities said.
James was charged in federal court with violating a law that prohibits terrorist and other violent attacks against a mass transportation system, said Breon Peace, US attorney for the Eastern District of New York. If convicted, he could spend life in prison, Peace said.
New York’s police commissioner said investigators used every tool available to gather evidence that “directly links Mr. James to the shooting.”
“We were able to shrink his world quickly. There was nowhere left for him to run,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Wednesday afternoon in a news conference announcing James’ arrest.
The timing of James’ appearance in federal court will be confirmed Thursday morning, according to US Attorney’s Office spokesperson John Marzulli.
James had been named a “person of interest” by the New York City Police Department after possessions of his, including a key to a U-Haul he rented, were found at the scene, authorities said. He was declared a suspect in the shooting Wednesday, and the city issued an emergency alert to residents saying James was “wanted” and asking for tips.
The 62-year-old called police tips hotline Crime Stoppers Wednesday to tell authorities he was at a McDonald’s on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, two law enforcement sources said.
The call dropped moments later and was followed by a 911 call from another person who said they had spotted James, one of the two sources said.
Police responded to the McDonald’s and did not find James, sources said, but shortly after, officers came across a bystander who flagged James to them, a senior law enforcement source said. He was arrested without incident.
“Like all New Yorkers, I am deeply grateful that the suspect in yesterday’s subway shooting has been apprehended and thankful for law enforcement and every first responder whose heroic efforts helped New York City respond to this horrific incident,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday. “My heart is with all those who are injured, their loved ones, and the entire Sunset Park community.”