New York shooter Frank James pleads guilty to injuring 10 people on a train
The deranged shooter who opened fire on a crowded subway trainshooting 10 commuters and unleashing an underground terror that left several others injured, pleaded guilty to the gruesome attack on Tuesday.
Frank James, 63, spoke in a neutral tone as he admitted in Brooklyn federal court that he intended to seriously injure commuters when he fired on the Manhattan-bound N train on April 12, 2022.
“My intention was to cause serious bodily harm to people on the train,” James said, sounding relaxed and emotionless during the hearing.
Last month, the cold-blooded creep indicated through his lawyers that he intended to face 10 counts of terrorist attack or other violence against a transport system in common – one for each gunshot victim – and one count of discharging a firearm filed against him in a superseding indictment.
He faces life in prison when sentenced at a later date.
“This guilty plea is an important step in holding James fully accountable and helping the victims of the defendant’s violence and our great city heal,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.
Federal prosecutors say James had murder in mind when he flew to Brooklyn from an Airbnb in Philadelphia and boarded the subway with a smoke bomb, gas mask and Glock 17 handgun that he had legally purchased in Ohio.
As the train moved between the 59th Street and 36th Street stations, the smoke bomb in James’ bag went off, authorities said.
James — disguised in an orange reflective jacket and yellow hard hat to look like an MTA worker — then donned a mask and opened fire.
No one was killed. In addition to the 10 people shot, many others suffered smoke inhalation or other injuries when the 36th Street station platform turned into a bloody mess littered with bodies.
In court on Tuesday, James denied having intended to kill.
“Although it was not my intention to cause death, I was fully aware that death or fatalities could occur if I discharged a firearm into such an enclosed space as a subway car,” did he declare.
Prosecutors have denied the allegation, saying they would have filed charges against him if he had been tried.
“The government would prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused shot with intent to kill,” Assistant US Attorney Sara Winik said. “Defendant intended to inflict maximum damage at the peak of the rush hour.”
James began planning the attack as early as 2017 and began purchasing smoke grenades, ammunition and weapons, as well as his disguise, prosecutors said.
In the months leading up to the attack, his online searches included “MTA”, “New York”, “transit” and “stops on the N train”, according to federal authorities. His social media presence included videos announcing his plans, including one in which he said, “If you hear the name Frank James on the news…chances are it’s me.”
James fled after the shooting and was only captured after a 30-hour manhunt that ended when he called out Crime Stoppers on himself.
James’ lawyers blasted the potential life sentence which “would greatly exceed [his] natural life.”
The “requested punishment serves no legitimate sentencing purpose,” they said in a statement.
An MTA spokesperson praised prosecutors for bringing James to justice.
“The victims of this reprehensible attack deserved and got justice,” said MTA communications director Tim Minton. “As we remember the transit workers who helped passengers get to safety on that terrible day and the security cameras that helped investigators quickly nab the suspect, we hope this attacker will never be seen again. free to hurt innocent people.”
Additional reporting by Ben Feuerherd