NEW YORK – The man accused of engaging in a mass shooting inside of a New York City subway car in April leaving dozens of commuters injured is facing a new set of federal terrorism charges, according to authorities.
On Friday, prosecutors announced a superseding indictment charging suspected shooter Frank Robert James, 63, with 10 counts of a terrorist attack and other violence against a mass transportation system carrying passengers and employees, court documents revealed, according to Law&Crime.
The amended terrorism charges reflect the number of victims — 10 — who suffered gunshot wounds during the mass shooting. Moreover, the grand jury also charged the criminal defendant with one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Each of the 11 charges carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
James previously pleaded not guilty to a single terrorism charge filed against him in May.
Authorities accused James of the crimes on an N-train car in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn during rush hour the morning of April 12. He reportedly set off two smoke grenades on the second car of the Manhattan-bound subway train while it was heading to the 36th Street station. He then allegedly opened fire with a 9mm handgun, discharging it 33 times, striking 10 people, Law&Crime previously reported.
NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig told reporters at the time of the chaos that not only were 10 people wounded by gunfire, but 13 more were injured from serious panic stricken falls and smoke inhalation. Fortunately, no one died.
Although James fled immediately after the mass shooting, police said he was easily traceable based on evidence left at the scene.
“Searches of the scene of the attack revealed two bags, both of which were recovered from the scene,” FBI agent Jorge Alvarez wrote in a 10-page affidavit released in April. “The first bag contained, among other items, a firearm, a plastic container containing gasoline, a torch, a U-Haul key, and multiple bank cards. The firearm was a Glock 17 pistol manufactured in Austria.”
Prior to the mass shooting, James posted several rambling conspiracy-laden YouTube videos. In his grievances, he railed against the city’s mental health services, complained about race issues and spoke violently against people he believes wronged him, Law Officer reported in April.
James said in the videos that he had a diagnosed mental illness and railed against what he called the “horror show” of the city’s services.
“What’s going on in that place is violence,” he said about a facility where he claimed to have received care. “Not physical violence,” he explained, “but the kind of violence a child experiences in grade school … that would make him go get a gun and shooting motherf—ers.”
Moreover, the accused gunman railed against Mayor Eric Adams in one of his rants, where he says a race war will follow the war in Ukraine, the New York Post reported.
“It’s just a matter of time before these white motherf—kers decide, ‘Hey listen, enough is enough, these n—rs got to go,” he said.
James’ trial is currently scheduled to begin on Feb. 27, 2023.