New video obtained by News 4 Wednesday shows a man law enforcement believes to be suspected Brooklyn subway shooter Frank R. James entering the transit system in Brooklyn about two hours before Tuesday's rush-hour attack that left 10 people shot.
The video was captured at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday, about two hours before gunfire erupted on the Manhattan-bound N train at the 36th Street Station in Sunset Park. It shows a man believed to be James entering the N station at Kings Highway, which is the same area where investigators say a U-Haul also linked to the subway attack was found.
On a normal service day for the N line, there are eight stops between Kings Highway and the 36th Street Station, MTA maps show. It's not clear how much time it would have taken to get between the two stations during Tuesday's morning commute.
In the video, a man believed to be James, dressed in a construction jacket and yellow hard hat, is seen carrying a bag and rolling suitcase as he tries to swipe his MetroCard at the turnstile. In another angle, he is seen using an emergency exit to get inside.
James, 62, has been arrested more than 24 hours after the attack terrorized rush-hour commuters in Sunset Park and left 23 people hurt, 10 of them by gunfire, according to four law enforcement source.
It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the shift to suspect from person of interest for James, but three senior law enforcement officials said ATF agents were able to trace the gun recovered at the shooting scene to a purchase James made years ago.
Surveillance video obtained from the area near the parked U-Haul includes grainy footage that appears to show James walking into the subway station, carrying a bag that looks similar to the one recovered at the shooting scene, senior officials said.
Cops believe James is the man who rented a U-Haul linked to the case. A key to the vehicle and the credit card used to rent it was discovered at the scene.
The van with Arizona license plates was found just before 5 p.m. Tuesday on Kings Highway in Gravesend. The vehicle was later searched and cleared, senior law enforcement sources said, as cops removed a table, chairs and memory foam pillows.
James was said to have a past criminal record in New Jersey that includes three arrests on charges related to petit larceny and disorderly conduct in 2007 and trespassing in 1992. He has no history on par with the violence he's suspected of in Tuesday's attack of which officials are aware at this point.
Part of James' criminal history included making "terroristic threats," according to sources, but investigators said the threats were similar to ones commonly made by those who are emotionally disturbed.
Two senior law enforcement officials say the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York is considering filing federal criminal charges in the subway attack. One potential federal charge being considered is using a weapon/arson on mass transit/train, but no final decision has been made, the officials said.
Meanwhile, authorities are scouring social media posts and YouTube videos by someone with James' name that mentioned homelessness, New York and Mayor Eric Adams, leading officials to tighten the mayor's security detail, police said. Videos that James is believed to have posted on YouTube show him ranting about violence.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell called the online statements "concerning."
A motive for the attack remains under investigation, but officials quickly sought to assure already fearful New Yorkers there were no imminent outstanding threats.
“There are currently no known explosive devices on our subway trains and this is not being investigated as an act of terrorism at this time," Sewell said earlier Tuesday.
Cops believe the suspect acted alone. Law enforcement officials said a .9-mm semi-automatic handgun was recovered at the scene, along with a bag of smoke canisters and fireworks. A hatchet, two extra extended clips of ammo, a fuse and a spray bottle of gasoline were also found, police said.
One source told NBC New York that the gun the suspect used may have jammed, preventing worse tragedy. The shooter still fired at least 33 times inside the train car.
A total of 10 people were struck by gunfire, with five shooting victims said to have been critically wounded. Police said that an additional 13 people were hurt by falling, smoke inhalation or other injuries suffered during the panic after the shots were fired. The extent of the other victims' injuries wasn't clear.
A reward of $50,000 from police, the MTA and Transport Workers Union is being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment of the shooter.
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