NYC Mayor Adams: ‘We got him’

April 13, 2022
The suspect in the April 12 shooting on board an NYCT N train in Sunset Park has been apprehended.

The New York City Police Department took Frank Robert James into custody without incident during the early afternoon of April 13, less than 30 hours after James was suspected of opening fire on a New York City Transit (NYCT) N train.

A tip called into NYPD’s CrimeStoppers hotline led to James’ arrest.

“My fellow New Yorkers, we got him, we got him,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said during a briefing where he appeared remotely while he recovers from COVID-19. 

James entered Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) system at the Kings Highway subway station and boarded the N train. At around 8:24 a.m. eastern on April 12, he put on what was described as a gas mask and detonated two smoke grenades, which filled the train car with smoke and opened fire as the train was pulling into the 36th St. Station in Sunset Park.

A total of 23 people were injured in the attack, including 10 who sustained gunshot wounds with none of the injuries being reported as life-threatening. 

As people exited the N train in panic, an R train pulled into the station and MTA employees are credited with quickly getting people onto the R train and evacuated from the 36th St. Station. 

According to authorities, James also boarded the R train and traveled one stop before exiting the subway system. 

Authorities connected a key to a U-Haul van found among the shooter’s possessions on the N train to James. He has nine prior arrests with NYPD and three prior arrests in New Jersey. James’ motive for the attack is still part of the active investigation. 

James has been charged with a single felony count of having committed a terrorist act on a mass transit system, which carries a sentence of up to life in prison if he is convicted.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said New Yorkers would rest “a little easier tonight” and called the work of the NYPD to arrest James “incredible work.” He also noted MTA’s cooperation with authorities in the review of “countless hours of video” pulled from cameras on the subway and bus systems.

“With the support of Gov. [Kathy] Hochul, Mayor Adams has made a powerful commitment to subway safety and has already taken significant steps to increase the presence and visibility of NYPD officers in the transit system – especially on platforms and trains, where riders want to see them most. We look forward to continuing to strengthen this partnership as we restore riders’ confidence in the transit system,” said Lieber.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.