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After an extensive manhunt, the police announced they had arrested Frank R. James, 62, in connection with the mass shooting on a subway train in Brooklyn that injured at least 23 people.CreditCredit…Dakota Santiago for The New York Times

Frank R. James, who law enforcement officials say perpetrated the worst attack on New York’s subway system in years, was taken into custody Wednesday, more than 24 hours into an expansive search that began after at least 10 people were shot at a Brooklyn train station.

“We got him,” said Mayor Eric Adams, the first official to speak at an afternoon news conference. “We got him.”

Mr. James was arrested in the East Village, officials said, and was charged in a criminal complaint with committing a terrorist act on a mass transit system. Breon S. Peace, the U.S. attorney for New York’s Eastern District, which brought the charges, said that Mr. James could face life in prison if convicted.

Mr. James, 62, wore a solid blue shirt and dark pants as he was led in handcuffs out of the Ninth Precinct on East Fifth Street Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to appear in federal court on Thursday. A court-appointed lawyer for Mr. James did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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The police took Frank R. James into custody more than 24 hours into an expansive search that began after at least 10 people were shot on a subway train in Brooklyn on Tuesday.

Mr. James was apprehended thanks to a tip that came in from a McDonald’s near Sixth Street and First Avenue, officials said. According to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation, it appeared that Mr. James had called the police tip line on himself.

“We were able to shrink his world quickly,” said New York’s police commissioner, Keechant Sewell. “There was nowhere left for him to run.”

The capture, which unleashed a cascade of videos and tweets from people who witnessed the arrest or said they helped identify Mr. James, ended a manhunt that began at rush hour on Tuesday morning, after a shooting in the Sunset Park subway station left at least 23 people injured.

The investigation was complicated by the malfunctioning of at least one security camera in the station where the shooting took place. One senior law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said that it appeared none of the security cameras there were in full operation.

Two days before the shooting, New York City Transit workers had reported that the camera system in that station and two adjacent ones were malfunctioning, The Times reported Wednesday, citing transit officials. Maintenance workers traced the problem to a fiber-optic cable connection failure, the Times reported.

But cameras did capture Mr. James entering the subway system on Tuesday morning, at the Kings Highway N-train stop in Brooklyn, said James Essig, the Police Department’s chief of detectives. As an N train approached the 36th Street station, Mr. James, wearing a construction worker’s helmet and vest and a gas mask, threw two smoke grenades onto the floor and unleashed a barrage of gunfire at about 8:30 a.m., officials said.

After the shooting, passengers piled onto an R across the smoke-covered platform. They swarmed out of the 25th Street station, one stop away. Footage showed Mr. James leaving there, Chief Essig said.

Investigators found video of Mr. James entering the Seventh Avenue subway stop in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, more than a mile away, around 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Chief Essig said.

He evaded law enforcement for over a day.

On the train, the police discovered an array of belongings, including a Glock 9-millimeter handgun, three ammunition magazines, a credit card with Mr. James’s name on it and a key to a U-Haul van.

Credit…via New York City Police Department

That vehicle was found at West Seventh Street and Kings Highway in the Gravesend neighborhood late Tuesday afternoon, two blocks from the N-train stop where Mr. James entered the subway and about five miles from the station where the shooting had taken place.

Mr. James reserved and prepaid for the van April 6, and picked it up in Philadelphia on Monday, according to the criminal complaint filed Wednesday in federal court. Around 4:11 a.m. on Tuesday, the day of the shooting, surveillance cameras captured it crossing the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn.

At 6:12 a.m., according to the complaint, a surveillance camera recorded somebody leaving the van in the place where it was later found, and who was wearing a yellow hard hat and an orange working jacket, carrying a backpack and pulling a rolling bag.

The person matched the description provided by at least one witness to the attack.

The vast manhunt for Mr. James, who has addresses in Philadelphia and Wisconsin, included the broad review of security cameras throughout the subways; a more than 17-block wide canvass in Sunset Park for stores’ surveillance footage; and a search for information on the gun, whose serial number was found in federal records that showed Mr. James had purchased it in 2011.

Investigators seized an empty magazine for a Glock handgun like the one used in the shooting, as well as a stun gun, from an apartment Mr. James rented in Philadelphia, according to the complaint.

Authorities also searched a storage facility there that Mr. James visited the evening before the attack, the complaint said. They found ammunition there for an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a 9 millimeter pistol.

Mr. James had many arrests in his past, officials said, including nine in New York, mostly for misdemeanors, and three in New Jersey.

While investigators identified no clear motive for the attack, Mr. James’ postings on social media — including combative videos in recent days on YouTube — came under scrutiny and featured in the complaint.

In one video quoted in the complaint, Mr. James addressed Mr. Adams with grievances about the city subway system: “What are you doing, brother? What’s happening with this homeless situation?” He added that every car he boarded was full of homeless people, saying, “It was so bad, I couldn’t even stand.”

Michael Gold and Andy Newman contributed reporting.

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