Brooklyn Subway Shooter Frank James Pleads Guilty: In a rush-hour incident that rocked New York City last year, a man who opened fire on a Brooklyn subway train and injured 10 passengers entered a guilty plea on Tuesday to federal terrorism charges.
Frank James, who claimed to be the “Prophet of Doom” online, appeared in a Brooklyn federal court and confessed to shooting a Manhattan-bound train on April 12, 2022, while it was moving between stations. He didn’t have a plea deal, and the prosecution wanted to lock him up for a long time.
James, 63, claimed he only wanted to cause serious physical harm rather than death while sporting a beige jail uniform and black-rimmed glasses.
He entered a plea of guilty to each of the 11 charges contained in his indictment, including the 10 counts of carrying out a terrorist attack against a mass transit system—one account for each victim injured. He had already vowed to challenge the accusations.
A number of the shooting victims were in court for James’ guilty plea, but none wished to speak with the media following the event.
James “wanted to inflict maximum damage at the height of rush hour,” Assistant US Attorney Sara Winik claimed at the hearing.
Prosecutors claim that James detonated two smoke bombs and opened fire inside the train while it was traveling between stations in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park area, injuring several passengers.
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James then escaped in the fog and disarray while dressed as a maintenance worker, sparking a 30-hour citywide manhunt that ended when he dialed 911.
James, a Black man, posted dozens of videos online before the shooting where he ranted about racism, violence, and his battles with mental illness, sometimes going by the moniker “Prophet of Doom.”
He criticized how Black people were treated and expressed frustration, saying, “I should have just picked up a gun and started firing.” In one video, he can stand inside a crowded New York City subway car, pointing out each person individually.
On December 21, James’ attorneys informed the judge that he wished to enter a guilty plea, breaking his earlier promise to defend the allegations in court. James has been detained since the shooting in a federal prison only a few blocks from the scene of the assault.
James discussed his lifetime battle with mental illness in an August jailhouse interview with The Associated Press. He also talked about the reputation he attained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where he made friends with disgraced R&B singer R Kelly.
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The AP was informed by a cheerful and bespectacled James that “it’s going to be a long case.” “People don’t know enough about me to judge just yet.” I’m generally a kind guy at heart, he continued. I have never injured someone.
However, according to the prosecution, James had been planning the shooting for years before he terrorized the entire city of New York with an act that disrupted the morning commute ritual and put dozens of lives in peril.
A day after the incident, James was apprehended in Manhattan after dialing a police tip line to report his location. A keen-eyed high school photography student called in a tip about a man who was thought to be the suspect sitting on a bench with a duffel bag, and police were already searching the area where James was spotted.
According to the prosecution, a wealth of evidence linked James to the assault. The gunshot scene yielded his bank card, smartphone, and key to a van he had rented.
The handgun they claim was used in the shooting was also discovered by the police. According to trace records, James bought the weapon from an Ohio-licensed gun dealer in 2011.
Prosecutors stated in court documents that James had ammo and other gun-related items in a storage unit in Philadelphia, indicating that he had the capability to carry out other assaults. Before the shooting, the New York City native had resided in Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
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