The lone gunman who blasted innocent New Yorkers in a subway car in Brooklyn on Tuesday during rush hour triggered a tsunami of information online.
Then, on Wednesday, suspected Subway gunman Frank James, 62, was arrested walking around the East Village in Lower Manhattan, a day after allegedly shooting 10 people on a packed Brooklyn train, and has now been charged with carrying out a terrorist attack on mass transit.
James was taken into custody on Wednesday on 1st Avenue between 7th and 8th streets after a bystander recognized him and called police.
His arrest on Wednesday brings an end to an embarrassing and fruitless day-long manhunt by the FBI and NYPD.
Conflicting reports emerged on social media about who the shooter was, where he was from and why he attacked in the first place.
As the suspect was finally arrested, DailyMail.com cuts through the noise and poses eight questions the public needs to know on the Brooklyn shooting.
Why did the FBI clear the suspect and take no action over the hateful videos he shared?
The FBI faces major questions after it emerged the suspect in the Brooklyn shooting was on their terrorist radar.
The Bureau is said to have previously known the man but released him following multiple interviews.
A source revealed the bombshell update to Newsweek last night, saying the suspect was entered into the Guardian Lead terrorism monitoring system in New Mexico.
The FBI (pictured in Brooklyn yesterday) faces major questions after it emerged the suspect in the Brooklyn shooting was on their terrorist radar
It is the FBI’s way of coordinating information from other law enforcement partners about potential terrorism-related threats and suspicious activity reports.
But for reasons that are yet to be made clear by the Bureau, he was cleared after multiple interviews in 2019.
The federal law enforcement source said that he is believed to have driven to New York from New Mexico.
Why didn’t YouTube react to suspect’s unhinged videos?
YouTube commonly deletes videos it deems inappropriate, with youngsters often seeing their posts removed if they feature copyrighted music in the background.
But the tech giant, which is owned by Google, again appears to have failed to react to the far more serious case of the Brooklyn suspected shooter.
James had posted a raft of unhinged videos on the social media website, ranting about race and how he would ‘never be back again alive’ just three weeks ago.
He relentlessly uploaded hate-speech-filled clips online about how oppressed black people were and how black and white people should have ‘no contact’.
He also posted worrying memes about guns, bullets and 9/11 on Facebook but none were picked up by police.
In the March 20th video, titled ‘STOP ONE COMPLETE’, he gave an ominous warning about his plans.
He said: ‘As I leave the state of Wisconsin, about to be back in the state of Illinois, all I can say is: Good riddance. I will never be back again alive to that m*********r.’
YouTube supposedly has strict rules on uploading harmful or dangerous content to the site.
It says it ‘doesn’t allow content that encourages dangerous or illegal activities that risk serious physical harm or death’.
It adds: ‘Showing viewers how to perform activities meant to kill or maim others. For example, giving instructions to build a bomb meant to injure or kill others.’
But James’ clips remained on the site. YouTube has been approached for further comment.
Were there not enough NYPD cops to catch him?
Ahead of the shooting yesterday, Eric Adams had been warned multiple times there were not enough cops on the subway.
Only last night, hours after ten people were shot in the most recent attack to rock the city, did he vow to double the numbers on the system.
The mayor pledged to ramp up the uniformed cops out and about as he spoke from Covid isolation.
But it appeared too little, too late, with the suspect able to blast a carriage full of passengers and make off without cops grabbing him.
Over a day later the attacker still remains at large despite hundreds more cops being deployed in the manhunt.
MANHATTAN: Subways across the country have remained on high alert this morning as hundreds of cops frantically hunt for the Brooklyn gunman
The Mayor (pictured yesterday) pledged to ramp up the number of uniformed cops out and about following the rush hour gun attack in Sunset Park this morning
There have been have been nearly 500 major crimes reported underground this year, 224 more than the year before
The issue has been raised repeatedly over the last few months and years, with Adams even admitting it was a problem last year as he ran for mayor.
He said the move to deploy 250 more cops on the system ‘was not enough to tackle subway violence’.
Despite this, during his time in office crime has skyrocketed, with the underground network the epicenter.
Hammer attacks, feces smearing, fatal shovings and now a smoke bomb-mass shooting have become risks for every tourist and New Yorker down there.
Transit crime has spiked 46 percent – with 224 more incidents – since last year as the city reopened following the pandemic.
In March alone, the number of crimes in the subway jumped 55 percent, from the same period last year, NYPD figures show.
There were 180 crimes reported in March of this year compared to 118 crimes for 2021.
And January saw the biggest increase, nearly doubling the year before, with 198 crimes reported compared to 113 in the first month last year.
Why were the subway cameras not working?
Fears for the safety of New Yorkers using the subway was raised further when Adams admitted the cameras that would have captured the shooting were not working.
The Mayor said a ‘malfunction’ was the reason for the failing to capture any footage of the suspect across three subways.
The MTA said last fall it had installed security cameras in all 472 subway stations citywide, saying they would put criminals on an ‘express track to justice’.
A ‘malfunction’ meant security cameras were not working at least three subway stations in New York City, thwarting police efforts to find footage of the gunman who managed to escape without trace after setting off smoke grenades and firing a barrage of bullets at trapped passengers. Pictured: People lay injured on the subway platform
Mayor Eric Adams said a ‘malfunction’ was the reason for the security cameras failing to capture any footage of the suspect, who remains at large, despite his promise to crack down on subway crime in the city
But they were not working at three stations where police went to look for evidence, Chief of Detectives James Essig admitted yesterday.
MTA system chief Janno Lieber said he did not know why the cameras malfunctioned.
But he insisted police had ‘a lot of different options’ from cameras elsewhere on the subway line to get a glimpse of the shooter.
The malfunction put police on the back foot from the start in capturing the suspect, who was still on the run.
New York’s transit agency has warned multiple times the security cameras alone are not enough.
The MTA was warned in 2018 and 2019 inspections by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority the cameras were at risk of malfunction.
The inspectors found they had not ensured preventative maintenance and repairs on the system, according to CBS.
MTA CEO Janno Lieber said: ‘The bigger issue is there’s so much video evidence from all of the stations on this line that there are images that are going to be found.’
Former FBI gent Mike German said the malfunction was not a surprise, adding :”It’s very easy after an event that’s horrifying and scary to the public for policymakers to reach for that silver bullet solution, ”We’ll put cameras in all of the subway stations,” but that initial expense doesn’t necessarily provide or explain all of the resources that will have to go into that kind of surveillance.’
Why were subway doors locked so passengers couldn’t escape?
Horrific footage emerged yesterday showing desperate passengers trying to flee the gunman by breaking into other carriages.
One video captured them slamming against the locked subway doors as they were engulfed in smoke from the shooter’s smoke grenades.
Others recorded themselves yanking on the handgrip several times – proving it was fastened shut – while the shooter loomed nearby.
The MTA has previously been warned about the dangers posed by keeping these locked, with some, but not all, kept shut.
This video, taken inside the next car along on the train, shows worried commuters walking away from the door as someone pounded on it , begging to be let in. They tried to open it but the door was locked
Councilman have pointed out it leaves victims at the mercy of maniacs when they board there carriage, with no viable escape route.
Councilwoman Letitia James warned in 2010 ‘riders need a place to run to safety, and right now there’s no way to do that’.
But over a decade later nothing appears to have been done about that, with it still a crime to move between cars unless told to by the MTA or NYPD.
At the time of the shooting yesterday, passengers desperately trying to flee the hail of bullets raining down on them were stuck between locked doors and the gunman.
Witnesses told how it caused even more panic as people were forced to trample over each other as they tried to escape.
Who is Frank James?
Frank James is the suspect in the Brooklyn shooting yesterday, having allegedly blasted ten people before his gun jammed.
The 62-year-old is believed to be most recently from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before he traveled to New York.
He has posted a series of ranting YouTube videos where he raged about race and hinted he would conduct an attack.
James was also had a criminal record in New Jersey – three arrests on charges related to petit larceny and disorderly conduct in 2007 and trespassing in 1992.
James in one of his many Facebook posts. He remains at large
But none of his criminal history is near the same level of the attack in brooklyn yesterday morning.
But part of it does include making ‘terrorist threats’, sources told NBC New York, but they were said to be emotionally disturbed rather than of any value.
James was originally named as a ‘person of interest’ to the FBI and police forces, but this was upgraded to suspect on Wednesday morning.
A multi-state manhunt for the alleged shooter remains ongoing as cops were ramped up in New York, Boston, Washington DC and Philadelphia.
How did he end up in New York?
Federal law enforcement sources leaked that James is believed to have driven to New York after living in Milwaukee – where he packed up on March 20.
He drove south, first through Illinois, then to Philadelphia where he picked up a U-Haul van he brought to New York City.
James confirmed elements of the trip in one of his YouTube rants, saying: ‘I am on my way to Philadelphia. I packed my bags.
The U-Haul van that police say subway shooter Frank James rented prior to unleashing the terrifying subway mass shooting during morning rush hour
‘I got up, even though it’s rainy, go to my storage unit, loaded that up and then finished my apartment off this morning.
‘I am on my way to Philadelphia. I should be there… I’m going to take my time though.
‘This is the first leg of my trip, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to drive this far. We’re going to find out though.’
He added: ‘All my Instacart driving paid off or what. We are definitely going to find the f*** out.’
What weapons did the suspect bring with him?
The shooter in the Brooklyn attack had a gun, gas mask, smoke bombs and also reportedly had an ax in his deadly arsenal yesterday morning.
The thug donned the mask then deployed one of the smoke bombs before spraying three magazines from a handgun into the carriage as his victims tried to escape.
Despite his planned attack, his equipment appeared to let him down, with his gun said to have jammed halfway through the shooting.
This bag of fireworks, wire and firecrackers was recovered from the scene of the shooting on Tuesday after the suspect fled
The bag was filled with Falcon Rising fireworks and Seismic Wave Crackers that can easily be purchased online
He also brought with him a bizarre combination of fireworks, firecrackers and an ax, which one witness said he dropped on the subway floor.
A picture of his bag from the scene showed the unused items, some of which can be bought easily online.