Gunman Who Smoke Bombed Subway Pleads Guilty To Terrorism
A man who set off smoke bombs in a crowded New York subway carriage before shooting 10 people has pleaded guilty to terrorism and weapons charges. Frank James, 63, was charged with 10 counts of terrorism, one for each person shot, and one firearms count.
Thirteen passengers also suffered smoke-related injuries during the attack in Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighbourhood on April 12, 2022. James was arrested after a 30-hour manhunt. He initially pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea on Tuesday at a District Court in Brooklyn. Prosecutors said last week that if the gunman accepted responsibility, a prison sentence of 32 to 37 years would be appropriate.
If not, they said, he could face 40 years to life. Authorities say James had planned the attack for years. Police said he donned a gas mask during the attack and escaped in the aftermath but he left behind several personal items that aided in his capture, including a key to a U-Haul van he had rented in Philadelphia and driven to Brooklyn, and a bank card with his name on it.
A legally-purchased Glock 9mm left behind at the scene was also registered under the suspect's name. The gunman was eventually arrested without incident after calling in a tip on himself. While there were no fatalities, the attack was one of the most violent ever seen on New York's subway system.
Police have not identified a motive, but authorities said the suspect posted multiple videos on YouTube that featured bigoted rants and statements about New York City's subway system, including comments about homeless people and conspiracy theories.