5 people to share $50,000 reward for advice that led to arrest of Brooklyn subway shooting suspect

(CNN) – Five people will share a combined $50,000 reward for providing “critical information” that contributed to the arrest of the Brooklyn subway shooting suspect, the NYPD announced Friday.

The man authorities say was the shooter, Frank James, 62, was denied bail on Thursday and did not plead guilty to breaking a law banning terrorism and attacks violence against public transport. He was arrested a day earlier in Manhattan’s East Village after calling the police for a tip; hours earlier, a teenager had called Crime Stoppers to report seeing him.

Information provided by the five individuals “directly contributed” to James’ arrest, police said, but did not provide further details.

“The public is who we serve, but they are also often our best partner,” NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement. “We appreciate everyone who responded to our call for information to locate this suspect, including everyone whose information was unsuccessful.”

Police say James boarded a train during Tuesday morning’s rush in Brooklyn, set off smoke grenades and fired a gun 33 times, killing 10 people.

Twenty-nine people were sent to hospital, including the 10 who were shot and 19 others who suffered injuries mostly related to smoke inhalation, a fall or a panic attack, officials said. . Four people remained hospitalized Thursday and were in stable condition, hospital officials said.

While officials wouldn’t release the motive for one of the city’s most violent subway attacks, they did point to YouTube videos in which James shares his views on the violence, mass shootings and mental health.

James, who is black, says in the videos that he suffered from post-traumatic stress and supported hatred of African Americans and others who he said slandered him. In a video posted in February, he criticizes a plan by New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ administration to tackle subway safety and homelessness, saying it was “doomed to fail “.

On Friday, the mayor said officials were using the shooting as a “case study” to see what could be done differently for mental health programs.

“We’re looking at people who report having mental health issues right now, so we need to get it right,” Adams told a news conference. “It’s generational, in the making, a broken system, but we also need help at the state and federal level.”

Municipal authorities want to strengthen subway security

City officials want to beef up security in the subway system, the mayor told CNN earlier this week, noting that the process would involve looking at technology that could detect if someone is carrying a gun.

“But it’s extremely difficult to identify every single person who enters the subway system because of the vastness of our system,” he said.

On the day of filming, more than 3 million people used the system, which also includes passengers who used the Staten Island Railroad, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

City officials on Friday honored five MTA employees for helping calmly evacuate people from the train and from the Brooklyn station where the train stopped after the attack.

The workers each received a framed proclamation at City Hall, declaring Friday to be their day in New York. Among them were David Artis and Raven Haynes, the operator and conductor, respectively, of the N train where the attack occurred.

They also included Joseph Franchi and Dayron Williams, who operated and ran an R train that took people away from the station; as well as bus operator Parla Mejia, who did the same.

Adams, isolated because he tested positive a few days ago for Covid-19, addressed the winners via a live video stream.

“You stayed calm, focused and saved lives,” Adams said. “Thanks to you, no passenger has been forgotten, no life has been lost.”

The photo gallery below contains graphic images. Viewer discretion recommended.

Prosecutors: Attack was ‘carefully planned’

During James’ hearing on Thursday, Assistant United States Attorney Sara Winik called the attack “premeditated and carefully planned.”

Prosecutors also argued that James was a flight risk and a danger to the community, according to a letter submitted by U.S. Attorney Breon Peace to a federal judge.

“Defendant committed a premeditated mass shooting in the New York City subway and then fled, with a stockpile of ammunition and other dangerous items stowed in his storage unit,” the letter reads.

Defense attorney Mia Eisner-Grynberg warned against rushing to judgment.

“We are all learning what happened on that train,” she said outside the courthouse. “What we do know is this: Yesterday Mr. James saw his picture on the news. He called Crime Stoppers for help. He told them where he was. Initial press reports and police in cases like this are often inaccurate. Mr. James is entitled to a fair trial and we will ensure that he receives one.”

The shooting James is accused of took place as a train traveled from the 59th Street station to the 36th Street station in Brooklyn just before 8.30am on Tuesday.

The alleged shooter wore a yellow helmet, an orange reflective jacket and a surgical mask as he set off at least one smoke bomb and began shooting people with a Glock pistol, according to a criminal complaint. Witnesses saw the suspect wearing a gas mask, the complaint states.

Passengers attempted to escape the smoke engulfing the train by running to one end of the carriage.

The doors would not open until two minutes later, when the train reached the 36th Street station, and passengers fled the train as smoke followed them, video shows.

Other victims with bloody wounds fell to the platform as they screamed for medical attention. Blood streaked the subway platform, with people sitting and lying on the platform, photos taken at the venue.

The evidence linking the suspect to the shooting

James was first named a person of interest after authorities determined he had rented a U-Haul pickup truck whose keys were found at the scene. Investigators declared him a suspect on Wednesday morning after learning he had purchased a firearm left at the scene.

Authorities found a bag containing the Glock handgun, a plastic container containing gasoline, a torch, the U-Haul key and several bank cards, and another bag containing fireworks, indicates the complaint.

James purchased the gun in Ohio in 2011, the bank cards bore James’s name, and the U-Haul key was connected to a pickup truck James had rented in Philadelphia, according to the complaint.

A neon construction jacket left on the subway platform had a receipt for a storage unit in Philadelphia registered in James’s name, the complaint states.

Federal prosecutors believe he went to the warehouse full of ammunition and weapons the day before the attack, according to court documents. A search of the unit revealed additional ammunition and “a threaded 9mm pistol barrel which allows for the attachment of a silencer or suppressor”.

Hours before James’ arrest, 17-year-old Jack Griffin said he was on a field trip with his high school photography class when he spotted the suspect sitting on a bench on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Griffin submitted the tip to NYPD Crime Stoppers around 10:30 a.m.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “I was looking for things to film (with a camera), and I found probably one of the most wanted people.”

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