Frank James, the man named by the New York City Police Department as the suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting, uploaded videos to social media discussing mass shootings and criticizing the mayor’s public safety policies.
Police have been unable to locate James, who was upgraded from a person of interest to a suspect Wednesday morning, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said.
The suspect, who remains at large over 24 hours later, has been described as a black male with a ‘heavy build,’ weighing about 170 pounds and standing at 5 foot 5 inches tall.
The gunman was wearing a gas mask and green construction vest over a gray hooded sweatshirt when he released a smoke canister in the subway station and opened fire on morning commuters.
James, 62, was named a person of interest initially after discovering he had rented U-Haul van whose keys were found at the scene of the crime. The van was found hours later several miles from the scene.
The NYPD on Tuesday released images of James and the U-Haul they believe he rented prior to the gruesome attack. They also shared what appeared to be a screengrab from a video he posted to YouTube onto his channel, , where he appears to go on lengthy, profanity-filled rants.
In a series of videos uploaded to YouTube, one as recently as Monday, James rambled about his desires to commit violence against certain societal and racial groups who he claims have wronged him.
In the most recent video uploaded on his channel he said he had thought about killing people, but did not want to go to jail.
‘I’ve been through a lot of s**t, where I can say I wanted to kill people. I wanted to watch people die right in front of my f**king face immediately. But I thought about the fact that, hey man, I don’t want to go to no f**king prison,’ he said in the video.
In one video he claimed white people look at black people as slaves, and that the groups should not mix together.
‘I tell the American negro this and I keep telling you the same thing, white people and black people, as we call ourselves, should not have any contact with each other,’ James said.
‘They don’t see it that way, they hate your f**king guts. This is because they know your rightful place is as a slave in this country.’
James also used YouTube as an outlet to criticize the mayor.
In a February 23 video he lambasted Adams’ homeless outreach efforts on subways, and alluded that he experienced homelessness himself.
In another video he mentions he was a mental health patient at one of the New York Behavior Health clinics, and said that after going there for help he left with more issues.
James has addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia. There is currently a $50,000 reward for information that will lead to his whereabouts.
‘At this time, based on the preliminary investigation, we believe he was alone,’ Adams said during an interview with ABC News.
During a separate interview with NBC News, the mayor said he’d been briefed on James’ social media presence.
‘He appears to be all over the place according to the briefing,’ the mayor said.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell called James’ social media posts ‘concerning.’ Officials have tightened security for Adams, who was already isolating following a positive Covid-19 test on Sunday.
Just before 10.30am Wednesday an Emergency Alert was sent out to New York City residents telling them to be on the lookout for James.
At least 29 people were injured, including 10 people who were shot when the grisly attack broke out on a Manhattan-bound train that had pulled into the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park just before 8.30am.
Of the 10 people shot, five were said to be in critical but stable conditions. No deaths have been reported.
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