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Alleged Brooklyn subway shooter Frank James hit with 11-count federal indictment that includes terrorist attack charges

Alleged Brooklyn subway shooter Frank James
Alleged subway shooter Frank James smirks as he’s loaded into a police vehicle at the 9th Precinct in the East Village on April 13, 2022.
File Photo by Dean Moses

Frank James, the man allegedly responsible for the N train shooting last April that wounded 10 people, has been indicted on federal terrorism charges, prosecutors announced Friday.

The charges are in addition to other counts handed down in a separate indictment back in May on charges of terrorism and gun violence.

James has been in federal custody since his arrest roughly 30 hours after he allegedly opened fire on a crowded N train in Sunset Park on the morning of April 12, shooting 10 passengers and injuring 23 others amid the ensuing chaos.

The grand jury indictment handed down this week hits James with 10 charges of carrying out a terrorist attack and other violence, one charge for every individual he allegedly wounded with gunfire. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on any of those counts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.

James was also indicted on an additional charge of discharging a firearm during the attack.

Law enforcement sources said James allegedly set off smoke canisters and opened fire on passengers on board an arriving N train at the 36th Street station at about 8:24 a.m. on April 12. The New York native had recently lived in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, and apparently traveled to Brooklyn from the City of Brotherly Love that morning to allegedly carry out the attack, law enforcement sources said.

The investigation found that James had previously posted a number of YouTube videos, which have since been deleted, of himself ranting about conspiracy theories and Mayor Eric Adams’ handling of the homelessness crisis in New York City.

After setting off the smoke bomb and opening fire, law enforcement sources said, James slipped out among the crowd and fled the station. He wound up telling police that he was at the scene of the crime — a self-incriminating statement his James’ attorneys sought to have dismissed at a December hearing in federal court.

James was apprehended the day after the attack, April 13, in the East Village. 

James’ attorneys have also asked the court to have the trial relocated to Chicago, claiming that the defendant wouldn’t get a fair trial in New York. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have filed a motion against such a relocation.

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