Hero who spots subway shooter says ‘We got him’ as locals recall arrest and shocking details emerge about weapons cache

Hero who spots subway shooter says ‘We got him’ as locals recall arrest and shocking details emerge about weapons cache

NEW Yorkers celebrated the arrest of the suspected Brooklyn subway gunman, who had so many weapons stashed in Philadelphia that prosecutors feared he might ambush police.

The shocking details of Frank James’ arsenal were outlined in a federal “no-knock” arrest affidavit obtained by The Sun shortly after his arrest.

Zach Dahhan, who identified Frank James, the suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting, as the shooter, gestures outside a police precinct in NYC
Zach Dahhan, who identified Frank James, the suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting, as the shooter, gestures outside a police precinct in NYCCredit: EPA
James was arrested by the NYPD in the East Village section of Manhattan Wednesday afternoon
James was arrested by the NYPD in the East Village section of Manhattan Wednesday afternoonCredit: AP:Associated Press
James appears to smirk while being escorted into the squad car
James appears to smirk while being escorted into the squad carCredit: AFP or licensors
Tipster who yells, 'We caught him,' after James was arrested in Manhattan
Tipster who yells, ‘We caught him,’ after James was arrested in ManhattanCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

A keen-eyed bodega worker spotted James walking in Manhattan’s East Village Wednesday afternoon and called the police, who slapped the cuffs on him shortly before 2 pm.

“We caught him!” the tipster yelled as he was applauded and heralded by fellow New Yorkers and surrounded by media outlets.

Big Lee Lloyd, who owns a bar called The Hard Swallow, watched police arrest James “without a struggle.”

“He was coming up the block and someone noticed who he was and they notified the authorities and about five cop cars came up and handled the situation,” Lloyd told The Sun.

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“They just cuffed him and put him in the car. It was about five cop cars. He went very easily … To be honest, it was so surreal, it was like ‘No, that’s not him. No way. That’s not Frank.'”

The fact he was taken into custody without incident is a sigh of relief for law enforcement.

After the attack on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, law enforcement found large weapon caches in a Philadelphia storage unit and apartment allegedly belonging to James.

In the storage unit, police found 9mm ammunition, a threaded 9mm pistol barrel that allows for a silencer or suppresser to be attached, targets, and .223 caliber ammunition, which is used with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, according to federal court documents.

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On Wednesday, police tracked down an apartment in the City of Brotherly Love that James allegedly was using and executed another search warrant.

In the apartment, they found an empty magazine for a Glock handgun, a taser, a high-capacity rifle magazine, and a blue smoke canister, according to federal court documents.

Considering the indiscriminate violence of Tuesday morning’s attack in the Brooklyn subway and James’ alleged arsenal, federal prosecutors were concerned about a potential police ambush.

The federal Eastern District of New York secured a “no-knock warrant” that would’ve allowed law enforcement to break down a door if they believed he was holed up somewhere.

“I believe that if law enforcement were to knock and announce their presence before premises in which they believed he would be found, James could take advantage of the opportunity to ambush law enforcement,” according to the federal court document.

‘TERRORIST ATTACK ON MASS TRANSIT’

James has been charged with conducting a violent attack on a mass transportation vehicle in relation to the mass shooting that injured at least 29 people during Tuesday morning’s rush-hour commute to work.

He allegedly wore a gas mask and set off smoke grenades and opened fire into the crowded 36th Street subway station.

That’s where the NYPD said they found a Glock 17, three Glock magazines, shell casings, bullets, two detonated smoke grenades, two undetonated ones, a hatchet, and a U-Haul key.

Mr. James is now facing a federal charge for his actions – a terrorist attack on mass transit,” officials said at a press conference following his capture.

He will make his initial appearance Thursday before United States Magistrate Judge Roanne L Mann, according to the Eastern District of New York.

As alleged, the defendant committed a heinous and premeditated attack on ordinary New Yorkers during their morning subway commute,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace

“All New Yorkers have the right to expect that they will be safe as they travel throughout our great city and use our vital transportation systems.  

“I am grateful to our law enforcement partners, the first responders and the everyday New Yorkers who stepped up during this crisis and showed the best of our city.  

“And, we continue to pray for the victims and their loved ones as they recover from this traumatic event, both physically and emotionally.”

Mayor Eric Adams opened the press conference by echoing the words of the tipster who led police to the wanted fugitive.

“We got him,” the mayor said from a remote location as he continues to recover from Covid.

His motivation for the alleged attack and his whereabouts between the incident and Wednesday’s arrest is part of an ongoing investigation, police said.

Hours before his arrest, James’ sister told The Sun that he was always a “loner” and hadn’t spoken to him for about three years.

She said he wants him to face justice “for what he did, if (prosecutors prove) he did it.”

The gun allegedly used by James has marks on the serial number in an attempt to deface the number so it can't be tracked, according to federal court documents obtained by The Sun
The gun allegedly used by James has marks on the serial number in an attempt to deface the number so it can’t be tracked, according to federal court documents obtained by The SunCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk
James is accused of carrying out a mass shooting in a busy Brooklyn subway
James is accused of carrying out a mass shooting in a busy Brooklyn subwayCredit: Reuters

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Christopher Eberhart

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