New York Subway Shooting

Samantha Epner, Staff Writer

During rush hour on April 12, a suspect opened fire on the N train as it pulled up to a station in Sunset Park, New York.

The suspect was identified as Frank James, a 62-year-old from Philadelphia, and was arrested on April 13th. James allegedly set off two smoke canisters and used a gas mask to keep himself from the effects. The suspect reportedly took out a handgun and fired 33 bullets, ten people got shot, including three teenagers, but there were no casualties. Many more people were injured due to the chaos of people trying to get off the train car and people on the platform.

As law enforcement combed throughout the scene, they found a key to a van and a credit card. They found the van parked just a few blocks from another train station where the suspect is believed to have entered the subway. Credit card records o the one found at the scene showed that James had rented the van from U-Haul in Pennsylvania. The van had food remnants and pillows in it. Authorities believe James had slept in the van the night before the attack. The van had no weapons or explosives, but nearby security footage showed a person wearing an orange work vest and yellow hard hat carrying a backpack and rolling another bag exiting the vehicle. The suspect’s black rolling bag with him was recovered at the scene along with his vest and hat, authorities say. A 9mm handgun, three magazines, and four smoke canisters were found on the train car. Two of the smoke canisters had been detonated and two had not been. Officials say the gun had scratch marks in a probable attempt to erase the serial number but was revealed to have been bought legally by James in Ohio in 2011.

Based on security footage, James eluded police by hopping onto the R train, quickly getting off at the next stop on 25th street, and exiting the station at around 8:40 am. At 9:15, James was spotted again at a Park Slope subway station. He had purchased a new mask and was seen entering the 7th avenue subway station and was not seen again until the following day. It was believed that he spent the night at Chelsea International Hostel though the hotel denied it but said that James had previously stayed with them. Throughout the night and into the next day, James’ picture was all over social media as he had been named a suspect in the case, and there were many calls about possible sightings of James throughout the city. Later in the afternoon, the police got a call, and after reviewing, they believed that James called the tip line and told them he would be around a specific Mcdonald’s station. At 1:42 pm, police took James into custody peacefully. James was then transferred to federal custody and charged with a terror-related offense for an attack on mass transit. In James’ first court appearance, he did not enter a plea and is now being held without bail.
John Minchillo

Though New York is no stranger to shootings, sunset park is a reltil\vly calm and small area, and residents are shaken up. After the shooting, some held hands through their fences, and others sat outside.