© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Frank James, suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting, is escorted from the NYPD precinct in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Stephen Yang
By Luc Cohen and Tyler Clifford
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. federal judge on Thursday ordered the detention of the man accused in this week’s mass shooting in a New York City subway car, after prosecutors said his “horrific” attack disrupted the city in a way no one saw. in two decades.
The man, Frank James, suspected of injuring 23 people in the attack, made his first appearance in court on Thursday, wearing a beige prison suit, sneakers, dark glasses and sunglasses. Blue surgical mask. He faces federal charges of violently hacking a public transit system.
James, 62, was represented by two public defenders, who asked him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
“The defendant fatally opened fire on a passenger in a crowded subway train,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Winik told the court, adding that the incident disrupted “the morning commute to work in accordance with the law.” a way this city hasn’t seen in over 20 years.”
“He fired about 33 rounds in cold blood at frightened passengers who had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide,” she said in a court filing.
U.S. District Court Judge Roanne Mann ordered James to be detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, the main prison for defendants awaiting federal trial in New York City, pending the law. His lawyer applied for bail.
James was arrested Wednesday in lower Manhattan, with a 30-hour limit on the hunt for the only suspect wanted in an attack that sent passersby on the nation’s largest and busiest metropolitan rapid rail network. The United States must continue to call for increased subway security.
James was arrested about 5 miles (8 km) from the scene of Tuesday’s attack, which occurred during morning rush hour as the Manhattan-bound N train pulled into a subway station in the Sunset Park community of California. Brooklyn.
Police say 10 people have been shot dead, five of them hospitalized in critical but stable condition, and 13 others injured in a stampede by terrified passengers who fell from a full subway carriage. smoke down the 36th Street platform. All are expected to survive.
The gunman disappeared during the pandemic, but investigators say they identified James as a suspect when scanning the crime scene discovered a credit card in his name and the keys to a U.S. truck. -Haul that he rented and parked a few blocks away. far.
Authorities at the scene also recovered the Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol used in the attack, along with three extension magazines, a torch, a hatch cover, a bag of fireworks and a tank of gasoline, according to police and court documents.
The next day, investigators tracked James to the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan with the help of tips from residents who recognized him from wanted photos, some of whom posted footage of him. on social media, police said. According to officials, he was taken into custody without incident.
Authorities did not provide a motive for the assault. But according to the FBI affidavit in the case, James posted several YouTube videos that referenced statements to the mayor of New York City about homelessness and the subway system.
The company said a YouTube account that appeared to belong to James was taken down Wednesday for violating the “community guidelines” of the online video platform.
The New York Times and New York Post, each citing law enforcement sources, reported that it was James who alerted police to the whereabouts of his general on Wednesday during a call he placed to a police officer. tip line from a McDonald’s (NYSE:) fast food outlet. The reports could not be independently verified by Reuters.
A criminal complaint filed Wednesday by federal prosecutors in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn charges James with a single count of committing a terrorist act or other violent attack against the public transport system – a felony with a maximum sentence of life in prison.
James, a Bronx native with recent addresses in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, has had nine previous arrests in New York and three in New Jersey, according to the New York Police Department.
The subway gunman, described by witnesses as wearing a construction worker’s uniform, is accused of launching two chimneys from the back of a subway car before opening fire on passengers.
In addition to the items found at the subway station, searches of James’s apartment and a locker in Philadelphia also uncovered pistol and rifle magazines, ammunition, a Taser and an accessory. barrel for a silencer, the FBI said.