Report: Suspect in Brooklyn Subway Shooting Was Previously Known to the FBI

The suspect in the Tuesday mass shooting in a Brooklyn subway station was previously known to the FBI, having been entered into the Guardian Lead system in New Mexico, a federal law enforcement source told Newsweek.

The Bureau reportedly uses the system to “coordinate information from other law enforcement partners about potential terrorism-related threats and suspicious activity reports.” The suspect was apparently cleared after multiple interviews in 2019.

The federal law enforcement source said that he was believed to have driven to New York from New Mexico and that authorities were on the lookout for a U-Haul van with Arizona plates and the number AL31408. The van was later found at King’s Highway and West 3rd Street in nearby Bensonhurst, according to the federal law enforcement source and the NYPD official.

The NYPD have identified a person of interest named Frank James, but stress that they have not confirmed that James has a connection to the attack, Brooklyn News 12 reported. The perpetrator fled the scene following the rampage.

Tuesday morning, the gunman, wearing a gas mask and construction vest, set off a smoke grenade and fired a barrage of bullets, shooting at least ten people, five of whom were in critical, but stable condition Tuesday night. Authorities say at least 28 people were injured during the attack.

Authorities found a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun at the scene, along with extended magazines, a hatchet, both detonated and undetonated smoke grenades, a black garbage can, a rolling cart, gasoline and key to a U-Haul van, Chief of Detectives James Essig said.

NBC Philadelphia news anchor Jim Rosenfield posted onto Twitter a photo of the bag the suspect left behind.

Investigators believe the weapon jammed, preventing the suspect from continuing to fire, the officials said. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has completed an urgent trace to identify the gun’s manufacturer, seller and initial owner.

The suspect’s image was not caught on surveillance camera, as none of the cameras in the area were working.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced last fall that it had put security cameras in all 472 subway stations citywide, saying they would put criminals on an “express track to justice.” But at the station where the train arrived, the cameras apparently weren’t working.

Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said “We are truly fortunate that this was not significantly worse than what it is.” Sewell said the attack was not being investigated as terrorism, but did not rule anything out.

Law enforcement described the gunman as a black male, 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 175 to 180 pounds.

As the attack unfolded, frightened commuters ran or limped from the train, and at least one rider collapsed on the platform.

James reportedly rented the U-Haul police believe is tied to the shooter.  A key to the U-Haul was left at the shooting scene. Investigators were not sure of his ties to New York City.

“We are looking to determine if he has any connection” to the attack, NYPD Chief of Detectives, James Essig, said during a press briefing. Essig said James has ties to Wisconsin and Philadelphia. Police were not sure of his ties to New York City.

According to Heavy, James ran a YouTube channel under the name prophetoftruth88.

One video, posted on March 20, 2022, and titled STOP ONE COMPLETE, shows James driving purportedly to Philadelphia, and saying it is the “first leg” of his trip.

In another video, he argued that white people and black people should have no contact with each other.

Heavy has confirmed that Frank James had a Facebook page in the name Frank Whitaker. The page contains images of guns and describes Black nationalism as “black unity,” in addition to criticizing former President Donald Trump and posting about racism.

Another video shows James ranting about mass shootings.


Another video, posted on April 5, is titled “Sensible Violence.”

A $50,000 reward has been offered for information regarding the shooting.


James is now considered a suspect in the shooting, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in an interview Wednesday with Bloomberg.

“Yes he is, he is a suspect, based on the briefing from my law enforcement officials,”  Adams said. “He has now been upgraded to a suspect.”

The Post Millennial’s Andy Ngo posted onto Twitter some of James’ extreme social media content, including his anti-white, anti-Trump, communist, Black Nationalist views.


The NYPD arrested James Wednesday afternoon while he was walking around the East Village in lower Manhattan, the Daily Mail reported.


About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

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