Brooklyn subway shooting suspect posted hundreds of hours of rants online
Frank James, the suspect arrested in the Brooklyn subway shootings, posted hundreds of hours of rambling social media videos, including saying he wanted to “kill everything in sight.”
A top law enforcement analyst tells Kane In Your Corner that because of the volume of social media content produced daily, James’ threats appear to have escaped the notice of police.
James, 62, was born in the Bronx but moved frequently, rarely staying in one place for very long. He most recently lived in Philadelphia. That’s where police say he rented the U-Haul van that was recovered on King Highway in Brooklyn. Keys matching the van were recovered at the scene of the shooting.
LIVE BLOG - Brooklyn Subway Shootings
Before that, James was in Milwaukee. Team 12 obtained a receipt showing a man with that name purchased smoke grenades matching those used at the shooting. The store owner says he cannot say for certain it was the same Frank James, but says the fireworks are identical.
James also used to work at Bridgeway House, a mental health services provider in New Jersey. In a video posted to YouTube on March 2, he raged about the staff there, even posting photos of some of them.
“These are the people that was supposed to be helping me,” he said. “They made me worse… They made me more dangerous than anybody could ever [expletive] imagine.”
While those comments might sound as if James was a patient, officials at Bridgeway House confirm he was an employee and say they have had no contact with him in over a decade.
The hundreds of hours of disturbing and sometimes threatening video raise a question: How did James fly under the radar?
“Whether it's racist comments, hateful and hurtful things that they say, those things do slip through the cracks, and those cracks are as wide as the Grand Canyon,” says law enforcement analyst Richard Rivera. “There’s just so much content, so many people streaming simultaneously. And this isn't something that law enforcement is expected to keep up on this. These are the big social media companies that are supposed to police themselves.”
James purchased the gun used in the shooting in Ohio in 2011. James had a lengthy rap sheet in both New York and New Jersey, dating back to 1992. While the law says convicted felons cannot buy guns, James’ previous charges were either misdemeanors or he was found not guilty.
YouTube says it has taken down James’ YouTube channel and videos.