Updated April 13, 2022 at 3:43 PM ET

Law enforcement officials have arrested Frank R. James, the man suspected of carrying out Tuesday's attack on the New York City subway that left 10 people shot, the New York Police Department said Wednesday.

"My fellow New Yorkers, we got him. We got him," Mayor Eric Adams said in a video stream from Gracie Mansion.

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said James was charged in federal court in Brooklyn with one count of violating a law prohibiting terrorist and other violent attacks against mass transit systems. If convicted, James could face up to life in prison, Peace said.

A tip from the public led police to James

Police said they received a tip that James was in a McDonald's at Sixth Street and First Avenue in the East Village in Manhattan.

Responding officers didn't find him in the fast food restaurant, but as they were canvassing the neighborhood they noticed James on the corner of St. Mark's Place and First Avenue, where they took him into custody without incident.

"We were able to shrink his world quickly. There was nowhere left for him to run," said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. "He will be charged with committing yesterday's appalling crime in Brooklyn."

Police say they don't have a motive for Tuesday's shooting but determining it is part of the ongoing investigation, which includes scouring James' social media.

Police say James bought the gun legally in 2011

Authorities say James bought the 9 mm Glock handgun used in the shooting from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Ohio in 2011. They added that he wouldn't have been able to purchase the gun if he'd had any felony convictions.

James had nine prior arrests in New York from 1992 to 1998 on charges including the possession of burglary tools, theft of service and a criminal sex act, police said. He was also arrested three times in New Jersey.

Police had said earlier that they believed it was James, 62, who opened fire inside a subway car on the N line at the 36th Street Subway Station in Brooklyn.

James went from becoming a person of interest to a suspect

Authorities previously described James only as a person of interest, but Adams said on WNYC on Wednesday morning that James had been upgraded to a suspect based on "new information [that] has become available." Adams didn't specify what the new information was.

Investigators found a U-Haul key at the scene of the shooting and traced it to a van that they believe James rented in Philadelphia. James has addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin, police said.

Video from social media showed chaos erupting on the platform during Tuesday's rush-hour attack, just before 8:30 a.m.

According to police, witnesses on the subway car said James "popped" one smoke grenade and then another before brandishing the handgun and firing 33 shots.

Ten people were shot and another 13 people suffered injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to falls and panic attacks, authorities said.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

300x250 Ad

300x250 Ad

Support quality journalism, like the story above, with your gift right now.