Police in New York City on Tuesday evening identified a "person of internet" in the Brooklyn subway shooting Tuesday morning, saying investigators discovered the key to a U-Haul van rented by Frank R. James in a bag they believe belonged to the shooter. James rented the U-Haul in Philadelphia, police said, and it was found parked a few blocks from the Kings Highway station, where the gunman is believed to have boarded the subway.
The gunman threw two smoke canisters into a N train car during rush hour, then fired at least 33 bullets from a Glock 9-millimeter handgun, hitting 10 people, five of whom are in critical but not life-threatening condition, New York Police Department Chief of Detectives James Essig said. Another 13 people were injured from smoke inhalation, falls, or panic attacks. The gunman is still at large, and there is a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Police did not name James, 62, as a suspect, and Essig said investigators aren't sure if he had any link to the attack. But NYPD commissioner Keechant Sewell urged anyone with information on James to call the police. James has addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin, but he ranted about New York City and its subway stations in vitriolic YouTube videos.
In one video posted March 1, the man believed to be James criticized Mayor Eric Adams for new polices to address safety in subways, elaborating on how easy it would be to getting away with committing crime on a subway, even with police patrolling the subway system. "He can't stop no crime in no subways," he said. "He may slow it down but he ain't stopping it."
Along with the U-Haul van key, Essig said, police found a Glock 17 9-millimeter handgun, three ammunition magazines, a hatchet, detonated and detonated smoke grenades, fireworks, a black garbage can, and a liquid believed to be gasoline. William Weimer, a vice president at Phantom Fireworks, told The New York Times that in June 2021, a man named Frank James from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had purchased several of the fireworks brands seen in a police photo, at the company's Racine showroom.