NEW YORK After a day-long manhunt and a tipping officer sent him to his apartment, the man accused of being charged with a federal terrorism offense.
Frank R. James, 62, was taken into custody about 30 hours after the incident on a rush-hour train, which left five victims in critical condition and people on the edge.
"My fellow New Yorkers, we got him," Mayor Eric Adams said.
The suspect was on a charge that relates to terrorist or other violent attacks against mass transit systems, and it could be sentenced to up to life in prison, according to Brooklyn Attorney General Breon Peace.
In recent months, the suspect racially criticized Adams' mental health and subway safety policies. However, the reason for the subway attack is unclear, and there is no doubt James has links to international or otherwise.
The man who is from New York but has lived recently in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, didn't quite know if he has an attorney or anyone else who can speak for him. A sign on his porch requesting that all mail be delivered to a post office box is not immediately clear.
James, dressed in a blue T-shirt and brown pants with his hands cuffed behind his back, didn't respond to reporters shivering questions as he was chased from a police station to an unmarked police car a few hours after his arrest.
As terrified riders walked away from the attack, the suspect apparently hopped another train, the same one many were targeted for safety. He was fleeing the next train station, disappearing into the country's most populous city. Police launched a massive effort to find him, releasing his name, and sending cellphone alerts.
Wednesday, police said that a man was staying at a McDonald's in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood. The man was gone when officers arrived, but they soon saw him on a busy road nearby.
As a crowd of people watched on, four police cars zoomed around a corner, officers leaped out and, soon, a confident James was in handcuffs. Witness Aleksei Korobow
Authorities, according to police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, were able to shrink his country quickly.
There was nowhere left for him to run, she said.
The perpetrator launched smoke grenades in a commuter-packed subway vehicle and fired at least 33 shots, according to authorities.
Police Chief of Detectives James Essig said a cop was told that after the perpetrator opened one of the smoke grenades, a rider asked: What did you do?
According to a witness account, the man said, "Oops." Then, he went on to brandish his pistol and open fire.
At least a dozen people who escaped gunshot wounds were treated for smoke inhalation and other illness.
The shooter uncovered numerous clues, including the gun, ammunition magazines, a hatchet, smoke grenades, gasoline, and the key to a U-Haul van. That information led investigators to James.
In 2011, federal investigators determined that James' pistol was purchased at a pawn shop a licensed firearms dealer in the Columbus, Ohio area.
A law enforcement official said the van had been discovered near a station where investigators found the gunman entering the subway system. No explosives or firearms were found in the van, according to an anonymous source. Other items, including pillows, suggested he had been sleeping or planned to do so.
Investigators believe the suspect drove up from Philadelphia on Monday and have reviewed a surveillance video with a man matching his physical address coming out of the van early Tuesday morning, according to an official. Other footage includes him entering a subway station in Brooklyn with a large bag.
Investigators were looking into hours of disturbing, profanity-filled videos posted by the suspect on YouTube and other social media platforms as they tried to discern a motive.
James, who is black, criticizes the crime against Black people in one video, calling for drastic action.
You got kids going in here now by taking machine guns and beating down innocent people, he said. It isn't going to get better until we make it better, he added, adding that he thought things would only change if certain people were "stomped, kicked, and tortured" out of their comfort zone.
"This nation was born in violence, it's preserved by violence or the threat thereof, and it will die a violent death," he adds in another video. "There's nothing about that."
His statements are stuffed with disgruntled words and bigoted comments, some against Black people.
Sewell described the posts as "spiritual" and officials enhanced his security for Adams, who was already isolating Sunday.
Several videos highlight New York's subways. A video released on February 20 reveals that the mayor and governor's in the subway system "is doomed for failure" and refers to himself as a "victim" of the city's mental health programs. Adams.
The subway station in Brooklyn where passengers escaped the smoke-filled train was open as usual Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after the incident.
Jude Jacques, a Commuter who takes the D train to his job as a fire safety director two blocks from the shooting scene, said he prays every morning, but received a special request on Wednesday.
I said, 'God, everything is in your hands,' Jacques said. I was anty, and you can imagine why. Everyone is concerned because it just happened.
The Associated Press