Who Shoots Suspect Frank James on Brooklyn Subway?

A troubled loner with a checkered past, accused Brooklyn subway shooter Frank James had been estranged from his family in the years leading up to this week’s horrific attack.

James, who was arrested in Wednesday’s Sunset Park subway shooting, was described by those who knew him as quiet and unassuming – but the conspiracy theorist also had a 1984 criminal record for largely petty arrests.

James, 62, was arrested by the NYPD at least 12 times between 1984 and 1998 on charges of burglary, possession of burglary tools and criminal sexual activity, police officers said. However, the results of these cases were not immediately available.

The alleged shooter “also has records of terrorist threats in New Jersey,” an NYPD official told The Post. He has no record of a conviction in the Garden State.

His sister, Catherine James Robinson, told the Post her brother had “kept to himself” and said she last spoke to him about three years ago.

“He was a loner, yes he was,” she said.

After his time in New York in the 1990s, James lived in both Philadelphia and Milwaukee, where locals described him as quiet and suave.

Mug shot of Frank James.
Frank James has been named by the NYPD as a suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting.
Courtesy of NYPD via AP

“He was heartfelt,” said Eugene Yarbrough, pastor of Mount Zion Wings of Glory Church in Milwaukee. “He didn’t bother anyone. I didn’t know he messed with anyone.”

His friendly disposition changed Tuesday when just before 8:30 a.m. he parked a U-Haul van two blocks from the Sunset Park N train station at 36th Street, sparking the attack that injured 29 straphangers, including 10 who sustained gunshot wounds.

According to a federal complaint released Wednesday, James had rented a room in Philadelphia for 15 days beginning March 28 and was still booked there when he reserved a U-Haul van at a nearby location on April 6.

Surveillance video of Frank James before the shooting.
James was arrested at least 12 times by the NYPD between 1984 and 1998 on charges ranging from burglary, possession of burglary tools, and criminal sexual conduct.

On Monday he picked up the white Chevy cargo van and headed to New York.

Early Wednesday morning — while James remained at large — the FBI and local police searched the Philadelphia home in search of the fugitive. Inside, authorities found an empty Glock magazine, a taser, a high-capacity rifle magazine, and a blue smoke canister.

Get the latest updates on the Brooklyn subway shooting with live coverage from The Post.

“He wasn’t here long,” said neighbor Bruce Allen. “I don’t remember his face. He would just walk in and leave. He wasn’t one of those guys who stays out. He could stay an hour or two and then leave and then come back late at night.”

In recent years, James has been increasingly unbalanced, posting bizarre YouTube rants claiming to have suffered from a mental illness and blaming Mayor Eric Adams, among others, for his plight.

2624 N 6th Street in Milwaukee, Frank James lived upstairs on his balcony overlooking the street.
James lived upstairs in this house in Milwaukee at 2624 N 6th Street.
William Farington
The North Philadelphia Airbnb (middle door) where Frank James, a suspect in the New York City subway shootings, is said to have stayed at April 13, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
James reportedly stayed in the middle door room.
Rachel Wisniewski/For the New York Post
The North Philadelphia Airbnb where Frank James is said to have stayed.
James is said to have rented a room at an Airbnb in Philadelphia for 15 days starting March 28.
Rachel Wisniewski/For the New York Post

In a since-deleted post titled “My Family the Enemy,” James said he blames his dad “40 percent” for leaving him unprepared to face the world.

“I take 60 percent of the blame…’cause it’s my life,” he scolded. “It’s my life and I didn’t know what I was dealing with… to live and not be screwed by other motherfuckers, which means taking the position that if you screw with me, I screw you or I kill you.”

Anyone with information about the shooting should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS or log on to the CrimeStoppers website. Who Shoots Suspect Frank James on Brooklyn Subway?


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