Brooklyn subway shooter pleads not guilty to carrying out New York City terrorist attack

Frank James appeared in court in Brooklyn on Friday over the 12 April mass shooting on the city’s transit system

Rachel Sharp
Friday 13 May 2022 21:11
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The Brooklyn subway shooting suspect has pleaded not guilty to carrying out one of the worst terrorist attacks on the New York City transit system, after 10 commuters were shot and over a dozen more were injured in a terrifying mass shooting last month.

Frank James appeared in Brooklyn federal court on Friday where he entered not guilty pleas to two counts of carrying out a terror attack against a mass transit system and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

Dressed in khaki prison garb, the 62-year-old told the court he was “pretty good” when District Judge William Kuntz asked him how he was doing.

Mr James is being held without bond in Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center. His legal team has so far not filed a request for him to be granted bail.

The 62-year-old is accused of carrying out a mass shooting on a subway in the Sunset Park neighbourhood of Brooklyn back on 12 April.

During the morning rush hour commute, he allegedly donned a gas mask on a packed N train travelling northbound towards Manhattan and opened a gas canister, causing the carriage to fill with smoke.

The suspect then opened fire on passengers in the carriage as the train pulled into 36 Street station.

Ten people were shot and around 20 more were injured in the horror attack, with all victims miraculously surviving.

A huge manhunt was launched to track down the suspect with Mr James evading capture for around 30 hours.

He was finally arrested the following day in the East Village, in downtown Manhattan, after he called the NYPD’s CrimeStoppers hotline himself and alerted police to his whereabouts.

A motive for the attack remains unclear but disturbing YouTube videos show Mr James ranting about New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the subway system and the city’s mental health system.

Frank James appears in court on terrorism charges on 13 May

Investigators said that Mr James left his bank card, cellphone and key to his rental van at the scene of the attack, along with the Glock 17 pistol used in the attack, a container containing gasoline, a torch, and fireworks with explosive powder.

A stockpile of weapons and ammunition was also found in several locations tied to the suspected terrorist including at a storage unit and an apartment he was renting in Philadelphia, according to court documents.

Investigators said that Mr James left his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, around 20 March and drove via Phildelphia before arriving in New York City just hours before the attack.

Last week, Mr James was indicted by a federal grand jury.

If convicted, he faces up to life in prison on the charges, with the weapons charge carrying a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence.

He is next due to appear in court on 25 July.

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