Person of interest identified in Brooklyn subway train attack that injured about 2 dozen people

NEW YORK – Police are searching for a “person of interest” in the chaotic attack on a Brooklyn subway during rush hour Tuesday morning, a man they say posted violent ramblings online.

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But authorities stopped short of saying the man they identified, Frank James, 62, was considered a suspect. Police said he was not in custody as of Tuesday night and no charges were filed.

No one died but the attack left at least 29 injured, New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at an evening news conference. James has ties to both Wisconsin and Philadelphia, authorities said.

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The attacker, wearing a gas mask, set off two smoke grenades before shooting. He fled the Brooklyn platform in the panic, leaving a subway car filled with screaming commuters and bleeding victims. At least 10 people were shot and at least 19 others were taken to hospitals for injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to shrapnel wounds.

Authorities say the gunman fired 33 times with a Glock 17 9mm semi-handgun, which was found in the subway. Searching the subway car, investigators also found two non-detonated smoke grenades, a hatchet, gasoline, fireworks and a key to a U-Haul van.

The key led police to James, who they said is believed to have rented it in Philadelphia. Authorities found the van in Brooklyn near a subway station where investigators determined the gunman entered the train system, Chief of Detectives James Essig said.

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Sewell noted investigators were poring over social media posts appearing to come from James where he mentioned homelessness and New York City Mayor Eric Adams. She said the mayor’s security detail would be tightened out of an “abundance of caution.”

“We are truly fortunate that this was not significantly worse than it is,” Sewell said.

Authorities were reviewing several social media pages, including YouTube videos appearing to feature James discussing a variety of issues from Black rights and slavery to the recent mass shooting in Sacramento and the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to comment publicly.

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