NEW YORK (AP) – A person who sprayed the within of a New York Metropolis subway prepare with gunfire after which slipped away in a shocked crowd is about to be sentenced Thursday within the morning rush-hour assault, which wounded 10 individuals and set off a citywide manhunt.
Frank James, 64, pleaded responsible to terrorism fees within the April 12, 2022, mass capturing aboard a Manhattan-bound prepare.
Prosecutors have requested for a life sentence, saying James spent years rigorously planning the capturing to be able to “inflict most injury.”
The gunman’s attorneys have requested for a decreased sentence of 18 years, saying James didn’t intend to kill anybody and suffered from severe psychological sickness.
Disguised as a development employee, James waited till the prepare was between stations, denying his targets an opportunity to flee. Then he ignited a number of smoke bombs and unleashed a barrage of bullets from a 9mm handgun at panicked riders within the crowded prepare automobile.
The assault wounded victims ranging in age from 16 to 60 because the prepare pulled right into a station in Sundown Park, Brooklyn.
As emergency responders tended to the victims, James walked calmly out of the subway station and vanished. The seek for the gunman lasted for roughly 30 hours. Police recognized James as a suspect comparatively rapidly, utilizing a key to a rented transferring van left behind on the bloodied subway automobile. He was finally arrested in Manhattan’s East Village after calling a police tip line to show himself in.
“The truth that nobody was killed by the defendant’s 32 gunshots can solely be described as luck versus the defendant’s intentional selection,” Brooklyn prosecutors wrote in a memo to U.S. District Decide William Kuntz.
The assault shocked New Yorkers, heightened anxiousness about security within the transit system and prompted native officers so as to add extra surveillance cameras and police to the trains.
Earlier than the capturing, James, who’s Black, posted dozens of movies on-line beneath the moniker “Prophet of Doom,” ranting about race, violence, his struggles with psychological sickness and a bunch of unnamed forces he claimed have been out to get him.
In a single 2019 video, James alluded to a pending battle in his hometown, stating that “it’s going to be very attention-grabbing what occurs in New York with me.” By that point, prosecutors allege, James was already within the strategy of planning the subway capturing.
When James pleaded responsible to the terrorism fees earlier this 12 months, he stated he solely meant to trigger severe bodily harm, not demise.
His lawyer, Mia Eisne-Grynberg, recommended that whereas James could have initially deliberate to kill individuals, he modified his thoughts within the warmth of the second.
“In a society the place, sadly, we be taught almost every single day that mass shooters who intend to kill readily obtain their targets, it’s way more possible that Mr. James lacked that particular intent than that he merely failed in his mission,” Eisner-Grynberg wrote in a sentencing memo.
Referencing the defendant’s abusive childhood within the Bronx and his ongoing struggles with each alcoholism and paranoid schizophrenia, she added, “Mr. James shouldn’t be evil. He’s very, very ailing.”
Prosecutors, nonetheless, say the trajectory of the bullets present that James aimed on the “middle mass” of riders for max lethality. They are saying James solely stopped firing his semi-automatic Glock pistol as a result of the gun jammed.
James has spent the previous 17 months held on the Metropolitan Detention Middle with out bail. He was beforehand pressured to seem in courtroom after refusing to go away his cell. On Tuesday, Decide Kuntz stated U.S. Marshals ought to use all needed pressure to be able to produce James for the sentencing.