The man who set off smoke bombs on a crowded New York subway train before shooting 10 people in April 2022 was due to be sentenced in a Brooklyn courtroom on Thursday, after he pleaded guilty to terrorism and weapons charges earlier this year.
Frank James, 64, could face life in prison for committing one of the most violent attacks ever seen on the New York City transit system.
James, who was apprehended in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood 30 hours after the attack on a Manhattan-bound N train, confessed to the crimes before a judge in January.
“I got on the subway train that was carrying people,” James told the courtroom. “While I was on the train, I started shooting a firearm.”
James opened fire during the morning rush hour as the train headed to an underground station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood. He shot 10 people and another 13 were injured in the ensuing panic, according to police. No one was killed.
He said he did not plan to kill anyone, intending only “serious bodily harm,” and that he would make “a complete statement expressing my remorse” at his sentencing hearing.
Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn are seeking what amounts to a life sentence: 10 concurrent life sentences plus 10 years. James’ attorneys are seeking an 18-year sentence, according to court documents.
James, a native of the city’s Bronx borough with recent addresses in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, had nine prior arrests in New York and three in New Jersey, according to the New York Police Department.