Frank Robert James indicted on 10 state terrorism charges

FrankRobertJames. (Image via the NYPD.)

FrankRobertJames. (Image via the NYPD.)

The 62-year-old man accused of committing a mass shooting in a New York City subway car in April that injured dozens of commuters is facing a new set of federal terrorism charges. This was announced by the public prosecutor’s office on Friday replace charges Charges against alleged shooter FrankRobertJames with 10 counts of terrorist attacks and other violence against a mass transit system that carries passengers and employees, court documents reviewed by Law&Crime show.

The 10 terror charges reflect the number of victims who sustained gunshot wounds during the shooting. The grand jury also charged James with one count of firing a firearm during a violent crime. Each of the 11 counts carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

In May, prosecutors indicted James on only one count of terrorism, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Authorities previously said that James was the man who died during rush hour around 8:26 a.m. on December 12.

James allegedly detonated two smoke grenades on the second carriage of the Manhattan subway as it traveled from the 59th Street station to the 36th Street station, all in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, Law&Crime previously reported. He then reportedly fired 33 times with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, hitting 10 people. In addition to the gunshot victims, 13 people were injured from smoke inhalation, a fall or panic, detective chief Jacob Essig told reporters at the time. Nobody died.

Police said James fled immediately after the mass shooting but was easily traced based on evidence left at the scene.

“Searches at the scene of the attack turned up two bags, both of which were recovered from the scene,” an FBI agent said George Alvarez wrote in a 10-page affidavit released in April. “The first bag contained, among other things, a firearm, a plastic container of gas, a flashlight, a U-Haul key and several bank cards. The firearm was an Austrian-made Glock 17 pistol.”

Federal authorities wrote that records from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives showed that the firearm was “lawfully purchased in Ohio” by a person named “Frank Robert James.”

James reportedly rented the U-Haul in Philadelphia. Authorities have said they believe James drove the vehicle over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge at around 4:11 a.m. and left it a few blocks from the subway stop where the gunfire unfolded.

Elsewhere, police said they found three extended magazines, two detonated smoke grenades, two undetonated smoke grenades, a hatchet and consumer firecrackers. They also found a debit card made out to James.

James supposedly too posted a series of rambling monologues on social media accounts — including YouTube and Facebook — on issues like race, crime, and government. At times he railed against defendants who pleaded for leniency from the courts. At other times, he spoke directly to the mayor of New York City Eric Adams.

“What are you doing brother? What’s happening with this homeless situation?” James was quoted as saying in the video, which was reportedly removed from the platform. “Every car I’ve driven[s] crammed with homeless people. It was so bad I couldn’t even stand.”

James allegedly promoted conspiracy theories, adding, “And so the message to me is, I should have gotten a gun and just started shooting moms,” according to the FBI.

James’ trial is currently scheduled to begin on February 27, 2023.

[image via NYPD]

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