New surveillance footage has emerged that is believed to show subway shooting suspect Frank James dressed in a construction jacket, wearing a hard hat and mask, wheeling a bag and carrying a backpack moments before the Brooklyn attack he is believed to have carried out.
The footage was obtained by CBS on Wednesday morning as James, 62, remained at-large. It shows him walking slowly down a street in Brooklyn, wheeling a bag behind him and carrying a backpack in the other hand. He is wearing an orange construction vest.
It is unclear where it was taken and police are yet to confirm that it is him – but it is the only possible image or surveillance footage of the gunman to have emerged in the more than 24-hours since the attack.
The NYPD, FBI and other law enforcement agencies are still scouring the city for James but there has been no sign of him since yesterday’s attack.
In a fumbling appearance on FOX on Wednesday morning, Mayor Eric Adams couldn’t explain why the cameras inside the 36th Street subway station – where the attack took place – were not working at the time of the attack.
He deferred to the MTA and said he was in ‘communications’ with them, then coughed and sipped water from a wine glass in a reminder that he just tested positive for COVID.
The attack yesterday is the pinnacle of a worsening crime problem that has terrified New Yorkers for the last two years. Violent crime on the subway has increased by more than 60 percent since this time last year, despite Mayor Adams’ promise to put more cops on trains and in stations.
The footage was obtained by CBS on Wednesday morning as James, 62, remained at-large. It shows him walking slowly down a street in Brooklyn, wheeling a bag behind him and carrying a backpack in the other hand. He is wearing an orange construction vest
These images from the video obtained by CBS show the suspect seemingly entering the subway yesterday before the attack
Still, no one knows how James was able to escape after shooting ten people on the northbound N train.
Some fear he may have snuck onto a different train, the R train that others were ferried onto after the attack, and hidden among commuters pretending to be a victim. Others suggested that he could have fled onto the subway tracks and escaped through the tunnels.
For weeks before the attack, he had been posting unhinged and worrying videos on YouTube about race, and how he would never return to Wisconsin – where he lived – alive.
It has now emerged that he was known to the FBI and was questioned in 2019 in New Mexico though it is not yet clear why. He was cleared but was entered into the state’s ‘Guardian Lead’ system. The Guardian Program is the bureau’s terrorist threat and suspicious incident tracking system.
Despite being on that list, James was unimpeded as he relentlessly uploaded hate-speech-filled clips on YouTube about how oppressed black people were and how black and white people should have ‘no contact’, for weeks before Tuesday’s attack.
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. Speaking from the driver’s seat of a rented van, 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.’
NYC Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday could not answer why three surveillance cameras inside the station were not working yesterday when the attack took place. He coughed, sipped water from a wine glass and then spoke about his COVID diagnosis instead
At the start of the video, he told of his plans to drive to Philadelphia.
‘I am on my way to Philadelphia. I packed my bags. 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.
‘All my Instacart driving paid off or what. We are definitely going to find the f*** out.’
Two days before the shooting, he posted another video where he said black people were forced into violence by racism.
In this chilling March 20 video, Frank James – the suspect in Tuesday’s subway shooting – said he would never return to Wisconsin, his home state, alive. He drove to Philadelphia where he is believed to have rented the U-Haul found yesterday in Brooklyn, five miles from the subway where the attack unfolded. James remains on the run
The NYPD released this update on Wednesday officially naming James as a suspect. These photos include two of him leaving the subway though it is not clear when they were taken
‘This is what white b*****s and white m*********ers’ expect you to be… when you blow one of their f*****g brains out – this is what you asked for. This is how you wanted me to be, obviously,’ he said.
He was drinking white rum and had finished the bottle.
At the end of his final video, he said: ‘Why should a n****r be on this planet besides to pick tobacco or sugar plant. There is no natural reason for there to be such a thing as an American negro, African American, there is no reason for it. Except for you to be a slave. That is your rightful place, it always will be. Until you build a black state of Israel, which you don’t want. You want to send your a** in the ghetto and play n****r.
‘This is what this s**t in Ukraine is a build up to. It’s to get rid of your a**. Nuclear devices are going to be dropped. The president of Ukraine is calling for nuclear war. And so, I talk about my condition but, what the f*** can you do?
The suspected shooter posted this image of a man holding a gun with blood stained on his shirt on April 3, nine days before the attack
James posted on Facebook about shootings and wanting to kill people. This post is from August 2020
In August 2020, James posted this photograph of Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse with the title ‘And a child shall lead them’. Rittenhouse was acquitted of charges after a highly publicized trial. He had attended a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to defend the town from BLM protesters
James in one of his many Facebook posts. He remains at large
More posts from James’ Facebook page where he wore a skull-face covering and celebrated his 62nd birthday
James’ final video, posted on Monday, shows him drinking white over proof rum and talking about race. He ranted about how black people in America were destined to be slaves and could not escape ‘the ghetto’ while showing clips from documentaries about gangs
This is how the horror shooting unfolded on Tuesday morning on the northbound N train at 8.24am as it approached 36th Street station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
‘That’s life in the ghetto. I’ve said everything in this video that I wanted to say. I’m going to finish this 100 proof. I’m going to finish this s**t. This has got me knocked the f*** out. I can barely talk. Leave the rest of that s**t for tomorrow. I’m going to take my a** to bed. I’ll talk to you guys later, take it easy. Be good.’
In another video, he ranted: ‘This nation was born in violence, it’s kept alive by violence or the threat thereof and it’s going to die a violent death.
A stock image of a .38 caliber handgun, the type used in the shooting that was found in a backpack along with a key to the U-Haul James had rented
‘There’s nothing going to stop that,’ James said in a ranting video on YouTube under the name ‘Prophet of Truth88’.
The rambling, profanity-filled YouTube videos posted by James, who is black, are replete with violent language and bigoted comments, sometimes against other black people.
He is also featured sharing conspiracy theories – such as claiming that the Twin Towers could never have been brought down on 9/11 by planes.
One video, posted April 11, criticizes crime against black people and says drastic action is needed.
‘You got kids going in here now taking machine guns and mowing down innocent people,’ James says.
‘It’s not going to get better until we make it better,’ he said, adding that he thought things would only change if certain people were ‘stomped, kicked and tortured’ out of their ‘comfort zone.’
‘I am now in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the Comfort Inn Suites for the night.
‘My next leg will be… I am taking my time. I am definitely going to get to Philly by Tuesday.
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
New Yorkers lie on the platform at 36th Street station after falling out of the northbound N train. They were shot on the train by a gunman who unleashed a smoke bomb and then opened fire before fleeing at around 8.30am
Horror pictures from the scene showed blood strewn across the carriage during the latest attack to rock the city
Hourari Benkada, 27, says he was sitting right next to the gunman before he let off a smoke bomb and opened fire on passengers aboard an N train in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning
SHOOTING SUSPECT MOCKED MAYOR ERIC ADAMS AND HIS CRACKDOWN ON SUBWAY CRIME
James also referenced mental health facilities in the Bronx.
He mocked Adams’s plan to bring in mental health workers to deal with the subway homeless problem.
‘Here’s the help. Here’s the cavalry, Eric Adams,’ he said, referencing the New Jersey social workers pictured behind him.
‘A bunch of f****** predators, a bunch of deviants, a bunch of psychopaths and sociopaths.
‘They’re gonna help you, Eric.’
‘My drop-off point for the van is Newark, even though my destination is Philadelphia.’
I am heading back into the danger zone, so to speak, it was triggering a lot of bad thoughts. I do have a severe case of PTSD after the s**t I’ve been through and again just thinking about how f****d up people are.
‘There is no way no how an N word is perceived to be anyone’s judge. I’m talking to the people that did damage and harm to me, tried to kill me and get me locked up. They’re all black. We’re all in the same boat. Especially now.
‘They keep mentioning the potential of World War Three. We’re already in World War Three,’ he said.
In other clips he fumed at Mayor Eric Adams about the escalating crime in the subway.
Adams is quarantining with COVID-19.
His team says they will increase his security in light of James’ threats.
A federal law enforcement source told Newsweek the suspect was previously known to the FBI, having been entered into the Guardian Lead system in New Mexico.
The system is the FBI’s way of coordinating information from other law enforcement partners about potential terrorism-related threats and suspicious activity reports. 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.
Police are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to James’s arrest.
The MTA and Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 both offered $12,500 each in reward money and the New York City Police Foundation offered $25,000 in reward money to bring the total reward offering to $50,000.
Hourari Benkada (wearing red hoodie) , 27, sat next to the man with a duffe bag and MTA vest before Tuesday’s subway attack
The U-Haul van that police say subway shooter Frank James rented prior to unleashing the terrifying subway mass shooting during morning rush hour
NYPD officers patrol platforms at the 36th Street subway station where a shooting attack occurred the previous day during the morning commute, Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in New York
Pedestrians exit the 36th Street subway station where a shooting attack occurred the previous day during the morning commute, Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in New York. Police continued to hunt Wednesday for the gunman who opened fire on a subway train in Brooklyn, an attack that left multiple people shot and once again interrupted New York City’s long journey to post-pandemic normalcy