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Suspect in Brooklyn subway shooting discussed violence, mass shootings

Apr 13, 2022, 8:06 AM | Updated: 9:30 am
brooklyn subway shooter suspect...
The NYPD is looking for Frank James, the man who rented a U-Haul truck found near the scene of the subway shooting in Brooklyn. James posted videos discussing violence, mass shootings before the shooting. Photo credit: NYPD
Originally Published: 13 APR 22 00:53 ET
Updated: 13 APR 22 09:55 ET

(CNN) — The man identified Wednesday as a suspect in the New York subway shooting had talked about violence and mass shootings in videos posted on YouTube — including one uploaded Monday.

A manhunt is now underway for Frank James, 62, a suspect in the mass shooting a day earlier that left 10 people with gunshot wounds and 19 other people injured in Brooklyn, Lt. Thomas Antonetti of the New York Police Department told CNN on Wednesday. Police believe none of the wounded have life-threatening injuries.

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The NYPD believes James rented a U-Haul van whose keys were found at the scene of the shooting, it said.

James has been linked to rambling videos posted on a YouTube channel. A screenshot from one of the videos was used on an NYPD Crimestoppers flyer seeking information about the shooting, and in one video, he posts a City of New York ID card from a past educational training program.

In what appears to be his latest video posted Monday, James talks about someone who engaged in violence and ended up in jail. He said he could identify but talked about the consequences.

“I’ve been through a lot of s**t, where I can say I wanted to kill people. I wanted to watch people die right in front of my f**king face immediately. But I thought about the fact that, hey man, I don’t want to go to no f**king prison.”

James and his family didn’t immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Videos include racist and misogynistic language

Many of the videos that James uploaded included references to violence, including at a set group of people he believed had maligned him, in addition to broad societal and racial groups that he appeared to hate.

In another video posted last week, James, who is Black, rants about abuse in churches and racism in the workplace, using misogynistic and racist language.

After talking about community violence, James said, “We need to see more mass shootings. Yeah. … We need to see more, there has to be more mass shootings to make a n***er understand. … It’s not about the shooter; it’s about the environment in which he is, he has to exist.”

That speech was a common theme throughout James’ videos, in which he repeatedly espoused hatred toward African Americans.

In another video posted last month to the same channel, James said that he had post-traumatic stress. In that video, James said he left his home in Milwaukee on March 20. During the trip eastward, he said he was heading to the “danger zone.”

“You know, it’s triggering a lot of negative thoughts of course,” he said in the video. “I do have a severe case of post-traumatic stress.”

Preliminary information indicated James mentioned homelessness, New York City and the city’s new mayor, Eric Adams, in online posts, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Tuesday, adding that as a result the city would increase the mayor’s security.

Police released two photos of James at a news conference Tuesday night, including one that appeared to be a screengrab from a YouTube video he had posted.

Keys belonging to a U-Haul that had been rented under James‘ name in Philadelphia were found among the shooter’s possessions at the shooting scene in Brooklyn, the NYPD said.

The videos give insight into James’ path to the Northeast. He arrived in Philadelphia March 25 after stops in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Pittsburgh; and Newark, New Jersey.

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Suspect in Brooklyn subway shooting discussed violence, mass shootings