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Suspect in subway shooting has Milwaukee ties, police say

Frank James' last known address was on the city's north side. Neighbors tell TMJ4 News they saw James less than a week ago.
Frank James
Posted at 6:45 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 07:34:38-04

BROOKLYN, New York — There is a link between Wisconsin and the person who rented the U-Haul used in Tuesday morning's subway shooting in Brooklyn, New York.

The New York Police Department announced Tuesday evening that Frank R. James, 62, is a person of interest they are seeking in the subway shooting. Police say he has addresses in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Frank James


Authorities said 10 people suffered gunshot wounds. Five of them are reportedly in critical condition. Six others suffered various injuries including smoke inhalation.

James is described as a Black male, who is estimated to be 5 foot 5 inches tall— with a heavy build.

James' last known address was on Milwaukee's north side. TMJ4 News spoke with a neighbor at James' last known Milwaukee address. A sign posted on the mailbox showed his name and requested mail be forwarded to a P.O. box.

Keilah Miller recognized James when TMJ4 News showed the photo New York Police provided. She said she believes James had lived there for about eight months, and says she hadn't seen him in a few days. She says her interactions with him were limited.

"When I say hi, it's like a grunt," Miller said. "I don't see him, I hear him sometimes yelling on the phone, arguing about things. He's always chopping up something. He's really not friendly, but I hope he's not a bad guy."

She said she doesn't know where he works or if he has family nearby. She knows he used to have a car, but recently started walking everywhere. She said she also thinks the locks on his door have been changed.

frank james home

TMJ4 News could not find a criminal record in Wisconsin for a Frank James with his date of birth.

However, James' social media accounts tie him to Wisconsin as far back as 2019. His YouTube accounts detail half-hour-long rants about his disdain with society. One video, titled "Step One Complete," he explains a road trip he's taking from Milwaukee, starting on March 20.

In the video, he says he will be stopping in Ft. Wayne, Ind., Pittsburgh and Philadelphia before continuing his trip to New York City.

"I'm heading back into the danger zone, so to speak," James said in the video. "It's triggering a lot of negative thoughts, of course."

James' rants include Ukraine-Russian war politics, his post-traumatic stress, disdain over the current existence of African Americans and the need for humanity to end.

"This is what you get for being a vicious, Black, no good stinking piece of [expletive]," James said. "There's work to be done you haven't thought about. A factory reset on humanity is needed. Human beings, they need to die. They need to suffer and drop [expletive] dead."

New York City police have found an unoccupied U-Haul van in Brooklyn matching the description and license plate number of a vehicle being sought in connection with Tuesday’s shooting on a rush-hour subway train.

According to CNN, the van was rented on April 11 from a U-Haul store in Philadelphia. The records show James rented the van using a Wisconsin license with a Milwaukee address. CNN reports the U-Haul reservation was made on April 6 and was scheduled to be picked up on April 11 at 2:01 p.m. ET. According to the reservation, the van was supposed to be rented for two days.

A law enforcement official said police were closing off a street about four miles from the shooting scene and clearing nearby businesses, while awaiting a bomb squad and the highly specialized emergency services unit.

The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A gunman in a gas mask and a construction vest set off a smoke canister on a subway train in Brooklyn and shot at least 10 people.

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