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Frank James, suspect in Brooklyn subway shooting, discussed violence in YouTube clips

A $50,000 reward was offered to find James, who police said had addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia.
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The suspect in the subway shooting in Brooklyn, New York, appeared to post videos of himself on social media expressing bigoted views, violence and criticism of New York Mayor Eric Adams' policies addressing public safety and homeless outreach on subways.

New York police on Wednesday arrested Frank R. James, 62, as a suspect in the rush-hour attack, which wounded at least 10 people and led to the injuries of 13 others Tuesday morning. He had previously been just a person of interest.

A $50,000 reward was offered to find James, who police said had addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia.

Police said James rented a U-Haul van, the keys of which were found at the scene of the shooting in Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood.

One of the photos police shared was a screenshot of a video from the "prophet oftruth88" YouTube channel, a platform on which James appears to express controversial views and go on lengthy, profanity-filled rants. As of 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, the channel had been taken down.

He talks about death in several videos and discusses a "race war" and the desire to "exterminate" certain groups of people in one clip. In another, posted April 6, he says there needs to be more mass shootings, claiming the problem wouldn't be the shooters but rather the environment they exist in.

In a video posted Monday, James said he had experienced the desire to kill people but didn’t want to go to jail. In another, uploaded March 18, he claimed he suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

In another video, posted Feb. 27, he appeared to be disappointed that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was recently confirmed to be a justice on the Supreme Court, was married to a white man.

Image: Emergency personnel including the FBI search a moving truck
FBI and other emergency personnel search a moving truck Tuesday in Brooklyn, N.Y.John Minchillo / AP

James also used YouTube to share his thoughts about the mayor. In a video posted Feb. 23, he slammed Adams' homeless outreach efforts on subways, indicating that he experienced homelessness himself. He again criticized the mayor's plans for public safety on trains and his efforts to help homeless people in a clip uploaded March 1.

James' posts date to 2016. He has used slurs, denigrated women and made racist comments — some of them against Black people. He documented his journey from the Midwest to Philadelphia in March, often talking to the camera as he was behind the wheel. 

Adams acknowledged the controversial posts on NBC's "TODAY" show Wednesday morning before James' arrest was announced.

"I was briefed by the police department on some of his social media posts," Adams said. "He appears to be all over the place, according to the briefing."

"I just think we need to focus on his apprehension at this time, and the police department is going to use those posts and all of evidence that we’re gathering. Not only to apprehend him — we also must make sure that he’s prosecuted," Adams said.

The mayor's security has been beefed up since Tuesday.

The gunman donned a gas mask and set off two smoke canisters before gunfire erupted aboard a Manhattan-bound N train as it rolled into the 36th Street Station around 8:30 a.m., Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

Image: Frank James,Frank R. James
New York City police issued a photo of Frank R. James, a suspect in Tuesday's subway shooting in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood.NYPD via AP

The shooter opened fire at least 33 times, Sewell said at a news conference Tuesday evening.

None of the wounded have life-threatening injuries.

The attack, coming as reports of violent crime on subways are rising, has fueled unease.

Investigators at the subway station recovered a gun with a magazine attached, two additional magazines, ammunition, a hatchet and a container of what is believed to be gasoline, police said. They also recovered a bag containing consumer grade fireworks.

Police had said they were looking for a man believed to be about 5-foot-5 and 180 pounds, who was wearing a neon orange vest during the attack.

“Clearly this person boarded the train and was intent on violence,” Sewell said.