'We got him': Brooklyn subway shooter in NYPD custody

"My fellow New Yorkers — We got him,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

A New York Police Officer of the anti terrorism unit speaks with a MTA worker as he patrols the 36th St. subway station, a day after a shooting incident took place in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, US, April 13, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/EDUARDO MUNOZ)
A New York Police Officer of the anti terrorism unit speaks with a MTA worker as he patrols the 36th St. subway station, a day after a shooting incident took place in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, US, April 13, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/EDUARDO MUNOZ)

"Frank R. James, the suspect in Tuesday morning's Brooklyn subway shooting is in custody," New York officials announced in a press conference Wednesday.

"My fellow New Yorkers, we got him,”  New York City Mayor Eric Adams,  who is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19 and spoke remotely from Gracie Mansion, said. The line mimicked a quote originally uttered by American diplomat Paul Bremer during a 2003 press conference announcing the capture of Saddam Hussein; "Ladies and Gentlmen, We Got Him."

"Following a CrimeStoppers tip James was taken into custody without incident Wednesday afternoon, at the corner of St. Marks Place and First Avenue in Manhattan," New York City Police (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant Sewell added.

"We were able to shrink his world quickly there was nowhere left for him to run," Sewell said. 

Multiple reports indicate that the man who identified the alleged subway shooter is 21-year-old security worker Zack Tahhan.

Tahhan notified police officers after catching a glimpse of James casually walking down the street in the East Village on Wednesday surrounded by unsuspecting New Yorkers. 

 Democratic candidate for New York City Mayor Eric Adams reacts as he speaks after being declared victor at his election night party in Brooklyn, New York, US November 2, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY) Democratic candidate for New York City Mayor Eric Adams reacts as he speaks after being declared victor at his election night party in Brooklyn, New York, US November 2, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY)

Also at the conference was Breon Peace, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, who transmitted that James faces a federal charge for a terrorist or other violent attack targeting a mass transit system. James would be arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn and face life in prison if convicted, according to Peace. 

Police, federal and state law enforcement officers had launched a massive manhunt for Frank James, identified as the suspect in the Tuesday morning rush-hour attack on a Sunset Park N train. In addition to those shot, 13 others were injured in a panicked rush to flee the Manhattan-bound smoke-filled train.

On Tuesday evening, NYPD said they found an unoccupied U-Haul van in Brooklyn matching the description and license plate number of the vehicle being sought in connection with the attack. The van reportedly has Arizona license plates, Sebastien Reyes, U-Haul's vice president of communications, said in a statement to Fox News.

"Just before 8:24 Tuesday morning an approximately 5-foot-5 tall heavy build, black individual wearing a green construction type vest and a grey colored sweatshirt, donned what appeared to be a gas mask and opened a canister, and, at that time, the train began to fill with smoke," Sewell told reporters in a Tuesday press conference near the site of the shooting. 

"He opened fire striking several people on the subway and on the platform," Sewell added.

A day before the shooting James posted a video on Youtube, where he said "I've been through a lot, I can say I've wanted to kill people...but I thought about the fact that I don't want to go to prison -- I'm not built for prison."

In the video, James advocated for compilations of shooters being convicted and emotionally breaking down in trial to be shown to children,  "because it could dissuade somebody, so they think twice before you pull that trigger, because there are a lot of kids with access to guns." He went on to ridicule criminals for doing life in prison for "silly s**t that made no sense."

The video was the latest in a string of hateful videos online targeting Jews and other minority groups. One uploaded in 2017 is titled "they hate jew."

It consisted of James engaging in an antisemitic rant while displaying photos of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and several disturbing images of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust.

“This is gonna be about Jews and my personal relationship with Jews, and the utter contempt that all the f***ing Jews I’ve dealt with show me at the end of the day,” James stated at the start of the video.

James's videos are long, with ramblings that touch upon several grievances, including criticizing of gun violence and what he described as slave mentalities "bred" into Black Americans by plantations.

He also said that Black people were cursed to be slaves in the bible, and warned that US society's endpoint was the death of Black Americans.

US media reported that James has nine prior arrests in New York from 1992 to 1998, including possession of burglary tools and criminal sex act, and three prior arrests in New Jersey in 1991, 1992 and 2007. None were felony convictions.

The sister of Frank R. James, Catherine James Robinson, said she had little contact with her brother and had not seen him in person in a long time, according to an interview with the New York Times.

Michael Starr and Reuters contributed to this Report.