Police searching for "person of interest" in NYC Subway Shooting

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Tuesday should have been a good day. After all, Georgia’s governor signed constitutional carry into law. That’s a big 2A win.

Unfortunately, the New York City subway shooting kind of shattered all of that.

Here’s the latest on what happened:

Police and federal agents searched into the early hours of Wednesday for a man who set off smoke bombs and sprayed fellow passengers with gunfire aboard a New York City subway car, injuring more than 20 people before he fled the scene.

The attack erupted during the Tuesday morning commuter rush as the Manhattan-bound “N Line” train was pulling into an underground station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood, the latest burst of seemingly random violence that has plagued the city’s transit system in recent years.

Police said 10 people were struck directly by gunfire, five of them hospitalized in critical but stable condition, while 13 others suffered respiratory distress or were otherwise injured in the crush of frantic riders fleeing the smoke-filled subway car.

Some injured passengers collapsed as they poured onto the platform of the 36th Street station.

All of the victims were expected to survive their injuries, police said in an evening news conference, in which authorities also offered rewards totaling $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect they believed acted alone.

The manhunt initially centered around a U-Haul van found hours afterward parked on a Brooklyn street, and on a “person of interest” identified by police as Frank James, who was believed to have rented the vehicle in Philadelphia.

Now, normally, we wouldn’t use the name of a suspected mass shooter–even if they didn’t manage to kill anyone–so as to not inspire future dipsticks. However, since this alleged dipstick is still at-large, we’re using it so that anyone who may know him or his whereabouts can contact the police.

However, if James is actually responsible, he appears to be a piece of work.

The Daily Beast did a deep-dive into his YouTube account, where he’s posted a number of videos.

The man sought by the NYPD in Tuesday’s subway shooting recorded a video message to Mayor Eric Adams in which he said he had been through the city’s mental health system and experienced a kind of emotional violence that would make someone “go and get a gun and shoot motherfuckers.”

Frank James, 62, who was identified by police as a person of interest in the attack in Brooklyn, recorded and uploaded dozens of lengthy diatribes on race, politics, and gun violence to a YouTube channel under the username prophetoftruth88, with more than 300 subscribers.

It should be noted that his subscription count has gone up to over 2,570 since this report was published.

Tells you a lot about some folks, really.

In the videos, James offers commentary on major news events from Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars to Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination to the war in Ukraine. In most of the videos, however, James seems to express his disdain for Black people—often calling them “cattle” and racial slurs—and talks about his desire to “kill people,” even describing himself as a “prophet of doom.”

“[N-words] should be wiped off the planet, even though I am one,” James says in one video.

In other words, The Daily Beast is presenting a case that he’s basically a white supremacist with black skin.

Well, I couldn’t bring myself to watch all of them, but the one I did click on includes a lot of 9/11 trutherism and blaming it on the Israelis, so there’s that.

Yet he also has a lot of criticism for white folks for not “being there” for black people.

In other words, James clearly has an issue with a whole lot of people, not just one ethnicity, which it seems they either missed or opted to ignore.

As for the shooting itself, though, The Daily Beast offered some details missing from the above report:

As the gunman fled the scene, an NYPD supervisor previously told The Daily Beast that he ditched a handgun and three extended capacity magazines. NBC and ABC also reported the suspect also left behind a backpack, a bag of fireworks and smoke canisters, a hatchet, a spray bottle of gasoline, and one round jammed in the gun, which possibly prevented him from causing more bloodshed.

Of course, it should be remembered that this is New York City, the community with some of the strictest gun control laws of any city in the nation. New York state also has extensive gun control laws.

None of that actually seemed to prevent this horrible tragedy. Frankly, it looks like the only thing that kept this from being even worse was the fact that he was a bad shot.

There are no laws on the planet that would have stopped this from what we’ve seen so far. I’m sure there will be more dives into James and his background–assuming it turns out he actually committed this horrible act–and then we’ll get dueling narratives.

Yet right now, for me anyway, the big takeaway is that no one died and authorities have a bead on the potential shooter.