NEW YORK — A federal grand jury on Friday indicted a man suspected of a mass shooting on a New York subway train last month that wounded 10 people.
Frank R. James, 62, was charged with committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transportation system and discharging a firearm during a violent crime. The indictment expands the charges James is facing for allegedly shooting 10 people on a Manhattan-bound train on April 12. No one was killed, according to The Associated Press.
The indictment was unsealed on Saturday.
James is accused of setting off smoke grenades and firing a gun on a crowded train in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, WCBS-TV reported. Police estimated that James fired a gun 33 times while onboard an N train, according to WPIX-TV.
Both counts carry a maximum sentence of life in prison, and the weapons charge has a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, according to the AP.
James was arrested on April 13, about 30 hours after he drove from Philadelphia to New York City in a rented U-Haul and peppered commuters with bullets. The shooting victims ranged in age from 16 to 60, according to the AP.
After the shooting, James called the New York Police Department’s tip line to say he was inside a McDonald’s restaurant in Manhattan, telling authorities to come and get him, according to the AP.
James was formally charged with a federal count of enacting terror on April 14, WCBS reported. A judge ordered James held without bail, according to the television station. His court appearance that day took about six minutes.
Attorneys representing James have claimed federal agents improperly questioned him, according to WCBS. The lawyers also accused the FBI of taking DNA samples from James and directing him to sign documents without alerting his lawyers, the television station reported.
An arraignment has not yet been scheduled, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.
Police said James had previously been arrested nine times in New York during the 1990s, The Washington Post reported. The arrests included charges of possessing burglary tools and committing a criminal sex act, the newspaper reported. Police said James also had been arrested in New Jersey in the early 1990s and again in 2007 on charges of trespassing, larceny and disorderly conduct.
James had no felony convictions and was not prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm before the April shooting, according to the AP. Police said the gun used in Tuesday’s attack was legally purchased in 2011 at a pawn shop in Columbus, Ohio, the Times reported. A search of James’ Philadelphia storage unit and apartment revealed at least two types of ammunition, including the kind used with an AR-15 assault-style rifle; a stun gun; and a blue smoke canister.
The day before the attack, James posted a video in which he said he had often wanted to kill and to “watch people die” right in front of him, The New York Times reported.
The thought of prison kept him from carrying that out, James said, adding, “It’s important to think about what you’re going to do before you do it.”
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