New York police are still looking for a gunman who opened fire on a rush hour subway train in Brooklyn, killing 10 people.
The alleged shooter, identified by the New York Police Department as 62-year-old Frank Robert James, was initially considered a person of interest in the investigation before being named a suspect on Wednesday morning.
“At this time, based on the preliminary investigation, we believe he was alone,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams told ABC News in an interview Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”
Law enforcement sources told ABC News that police now have probable cause to arrest James for the attempted murder of 10 people – a decision made overnight after more than 18 hours of investigation that included videos, cell phone data and witness interviews. The US Marshals Service has joined the search for James – who is now considered a wanted fugitive – along with other federal and local agencies.
The ‘active shooter’ incident took place in an N subway car bound for Manhattan during the Tuesday morning commute just before 8:30 a.m. ET as the train approached the 36th Street subway station in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, according to police.
A man mumbling to himself on the train donned a gas mask and detonated a smoke bomb before pulling out a handgun and firing at least 33 bullets, a police official told ABC News. The weapon jammed during the incident, which is believed to have saved lives, a law enforcement official told ABC News.
Smoke billowed from the subway car as the doors swung open and screaming passengers rushed onto the station platform. Bloodied people were seen lying on the floor of the train and on the platform as others tried to administer aid.
Twenty-nine people suffered various injuries, hospital officials said. Wednesday morning, only four of the injured remained hospitalized, according to the mayor.
A wanted poster released by police on Wednesday morning described James as “armed and dangerous”.
“At this time, we still don’t know the motivation of the suspect,” New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a press conference Tuesday night. “Clearly this individual boarded the train and intended to use violence.”
A federal law enforcement source told ABC News that authorities fear the shooting showed a level of planning and commitment to killing dozens of rush hour commuters.
Senior law enforcement officials told ABC News they had uncovered a number of social media posts and videos related to James and were studying them closely to see if they were relevant to the attack. from the metro.
Sewell said she stepped up security for the mayor after investigators uncovered what she called “concerning posts” but declined to call them “threats.”
“There are posts possibly related to our person of interest where he mentions homelessness, he mentions New York and he mentions Mayor Adams,” Sewell told reporters Tuesday. “And as a result of that, in an abundance of caution, we will be beefing up the mayor’s security details.”
Police say James rented a U-Haul van possibly linked to the violence. The key to the van and a credit card, which law enforcement sources say was used to rent a U-Haul, were among the gunman’s belongings found at the scene of the shooting. James had rented the same van in Philadelphia, according to police.
Police said the U-Haul van was found Tuesday afternoon, unoccupied and parked near a subway station on King’s Highway in the Gravesend neighborhood of Brooklyn, about 5 miles southeast of the station. 36th street. Nothing of interest to the investigation was discovered in the vehicle other than a pillow and other indications that James lived inside, a law enforcement source told ABC News.
Other items discovered at the scene of the shooting included the Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun used in the attack, three extended magazines, a hatchet, gasoline, four smoke grenades and a bag of consumer grade fireworks. The weapon was not stolen, according to the police.
None of the surveillance cameras inside the 36th Street subway station were working at the time of Tuesday’s shooting, a police official told ABC News. The cameras, which aim at the turnstiles, did not transmit in real time due to a computer malfunction, a source said. The same issue affected the cameras at stops before and after 36th Street. Investigators said they are investigating how this malfunction occurred.
However, cameras at Kings Highway tube station in Gravesend were transmitting live feeds in real time. This is where investigators believe James entered the subway on Tuesday morning, a few blocks from where the U-Haul van was parked and eight subway stops from the 36th Street station.
Police were able to obtain an image of the suspect from a bystander’s cellphone video, a law enforcement official told ABC News. Investigators are watching video of other witnesses and surrounding businesses, looking for clues.
Subway service at the 36th Street station resumed Wednesday morning.
The bloodshed came amid an increase in crime in New York’s transit system. The mayor said he had already doubled the number of police officers patrolling the city’s subway stations and was also considering installing special metal detectors following Tuesday’s shooting.
Anyone with information, videos or photos related to the shooting is asked to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.
Luke Barr, Mark Crudele, Alex Hosenball, Joshua Hoyos, Soo Rin Kim and ABC News’ Christopher Looft contributed to this report.