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Terror and Chaos: The Brooklyn Subway Shooting.

By: Giovanna Nery

In the morning of April 12th, instead of a typical New Yorker morning, citizens who were taking the Brooklyn subway were surprised by the largest subway mass shooting in New York’s history. The chaos began around 8:30 a.m., as a heavyset man, dressed in a construction vest and helmet, put on a gas mask. As the crowded train approached the 36th Street station, he tossed two smoke grenades on the floor of the vehicle, and started shooting. After 30 gunshots, and 10 people hit by gunfires, the man, later identified as Frank R. James, fled.

As the Fire Department stated, some were critically injured, however no life-threatening harm arised. Besides the 10 people who were hit by the gun shots, another 13 people obtained injuries related to “smoke inhalation, falls or panic attacks”, as announced by the Police Department’s Chief of Detectives.

The suspect:

In the shooting scene, the police department was able to recover the key to a van and credit card, which were among the gunman’s possessions. The rented van was found abandoned late Tuesday, five blocks away from the crime scene. Inside the van they encountered a handgun, three ammunition magazines, a hatchet, fireworks, and liquid that officers believe is gasoline.

The 62 year old suspect, Frank James, had also posted dozens of what were called “concerning posts” online in recent years. The record of the purchase of the gun and gas mask were also key to elevate James into the main suspect.

The search for the gunman:

The hunt for the gunman lasted about 24 agonising hours. The police department set a tip line, where citizens who had any clue to the case could call and possibly receive some monetary rewards. Around noon of the next day, the Police Department received a call, where a male voice stated “I think you’re looking for me. I’m seeing my picture all over the news, and I’ll be around this McDonalds.” In the tip line, he also gave his physical description, and said that he would either be inside the restaurant charging his phone, or out front. The responding officers didn’t find him at the fast food station, but drove around the area and spotted James. He was taken into custody at around 1:45 p.m. According to officers, “he was walking like normal, like he didn’t do anything before, like something like a normal person.” The motivation for the mass shooting is still unknown.

Works Cited

ABC News, ABC News Network,

Andy Newman, Troy Closson. “Police Search for Gunman in Attack on Brooklyn Subway.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Apr. 2022,


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