On Jan. 4, in federal court in Brooklyn, Frank James pleaded guilty to 10 counts of committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transportation vehicle and one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of his attack.
The charges relate to the defendant’s April 12, 2022, mass shooting on the New York
City subway in Sunset Park. When sentenced, James faces up to life in prison on each of the 11 counts.
“On the morning of April 12, 2022, Frank James cold-bloodedly shot innocent New Yorkers traveling on the subway in Brooklyn, and brought terror to our great city. James’s
crimes of violence have been met with swift justice,” United States Attorney General, Breon Peace, said.
“James’s admission of guilt to all eleven counts of the superseding indictment acknowledges the terror and pain he caused. This guilty plea is an important step towards holding James fully accountable and helping the victims of the defendant’s violence and our great city heal.”
According to court filings and facts presented at the plea proceeding, at approximately 8:26am on April 12, 2022, James used a Glock 17 handgun that he legally purchased in Ohio to conduct a mass shooting on an N subway train in Brooklyn.
In preparation for his attack, James disguised himself in an orange reflective jacket and yellow hardhat to look like an MTA employee and set off a smoke-emitting device in a subway car before opening fire on his captive victims.
In total, 10 victims were struck by the defendant’s bullets. Even more passengers suffered from smoke inhalation and other emotional and physical injuries caused by the defendant’s attack.
The investigation reflects that the attack was the culmination of substantial
planning. Beginning as early as 2017, James began purchasing items he could use in an attack,
including smoke grenades, ammunition, weapons, and his disguise.
The defendant also recorded and posted videos online foreshadowing his plans, including stating that “if you hear the name Frank James on the news, if something happens to a Frank James that’s sixty-something years old, chances are that’s me.”
“Today’s guilty plea is a distinct admission of the terror Mr. James inflicted on
New Yorkers last April in Brooklyn, and he is being held accountable for his reprehensible
actions that morning,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell.
“Our nation’s largest transit system is the lifeblood of New York City. And its subway riders expect and deserve the brisk, coordinated, and meticulous work exhibited by everyone involved in bringing this terrible incident to a successful close. For their unwavering dedication to all the people we serve, I thank and commend the NYPD patrol officers who arrested Mr. James on the run, as well as each of the detectives and agents assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force who methodically shrunk his world until he had nowhere else to turn. Lastly, I also want to thank the public for their vigilance and their help in taking this violent criminal off of our streets.”