NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The FBI is seeking the public’s help in identifying a gunman who detonated a smoke grenade and fired 33 rounds on a Brooklyn subway train, striking 10 people, in an attack during the Tuesday morning rush hour.
The law enforcement agency has set up a website — fbi.gov/brooklynshooting — where the public can submit images, videos, or any additional information related to the shooting that occurred aboard a Manhattan-bound N train as it approached the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park.
“We expect the process to be a long one as we gather all possible information to track down all possible leads,” said Michael J. Driscoll, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office. “Everyone’s got a cellphone in their pocket, there’s a lot of video out there. If you have digital information that you’d like to share with us in connection with this investigation please visit fbi.gov/brooklynshooting where you can upload that information. So we are seeking the public’s help. Videos would be particularly helpful or any other additional witnesses who have yet to come forward that can provide information that might help this investigation.”
The request for videos and photos comes after authorities said surveillance cameras at the station were not working.
Mayor Eric Adams told WCBS 880 the camera system appeared to have experienced “some sort of malfunction.”
“That is still under investigation,” Adams said. “We are communicating with the MTA to find out was it throughout the entire station or was it just one camera so that’s still something that we are looking into.”
Photo credit David Dee Delgado/Getty Images
MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber said he did not know why or how long the cameras were out, but stressed that police have other cameras throughout the subway system that could provide critical footage in the investigation.
“We have almost 10,000 cameras in the system, including close to 600 just on the Brooklyn section of the N, and I know that the NYPD is looking at a ton of different stations and a ton of different footage in an effort to identify the criminals who did this,” Lieber said. “So there’s a lot of different stuff to look at and it’s probably premature to talk about any one perspective.”
Meanwhile, the MTA, TWU Local 100 and New York City Police Foundation are offering a joint $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case.
“We are doing everything we can to catch the man responsible for this heinous attack on our riders,” said Lieber. “New Yorkers know that if they see something, they should say something, especially in this case. Justice must be served.”
“This cold-blooded criminal must be identified and taken off the streets right away. He must be brought to justice for this horrific act of violence,” said TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano. “Riders need to feel safe. My members need to feel safe. We don’t just dip in and out of the system. We spend entire shifts down there every day and night. This guy has to be apprehended.”
Anyone with information about the suspect or incident should call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
Photo credit MTA, TWU Local 100
Police said the gunman is roughly 5’5″ tall and 170 pounds. He was said to be wearing a construction vest, gray hooded sweatshirt, and a gas mask during the attack.
Authorities said 10 people suffered gunshot wounds and an additional 13 people were treated for other injuries, including smoke inhalation, in the attack.
Investigators found a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun at the crime scene, along with extended magazines, a hatchet, detonated and undetonated smoke grenades, a black garbage can, a rolling cart, gasoline and the key to a U-Haul van, which led investigators to the van renter, who has been identified as 62-year-old Frank R. James.
James, who has addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin, is considered a person of interest in the case.
“James is just a person of interest we know right now who rented that U-Haul van in Philadelphia,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. “The keys to that U-Haul van were found in the subway in our shooter’s possessions. We don’t know right now if Mr. James has any connection to the subway. That’s under investigation.”
The van was found, unoccupied, on Kings Highway in Gravesend hours after the attack.