BROOKLYN (PIX11) — The federal government pushed back Monday evening against efforts by accused subway shooter Frank James to get his upcoming trial on terrorism charges moved out of Brooklyn.

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District filed two memorandums this week, one of them opposing a change of venue for the trial. James, 63, was accused of shooting 10 people and causing 20 other injuries during a rush-hour attack on the N train in Sunset Park on April 12. Prosecutors cited a study about media coverage in the case presented by the defense.

“By the defendant’s own study, 29% of potential jurors in the Eastern District of New York have never ‘seen or read any news coverage about the case,'” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace.

Peace noted that would still offer a substantial pool of possible jurors.

“In a district of over eight million people….29% of the potential jury pool represents almost two million people,” the U.S. Attorney added.

In another memorandum, the government opposed any suppression of statements made by James to FBI agents and the NYPD before he retained a lawyer.

Prosecutors noted that FBI agents had to ask specific questions in the interest of public safety, when James essentially turned himself in on April 13t by calling the NYPD Crimestoppers Hotline.

The FBI agent who encountered James at the 9th Precinct said, “Just right off the bat here, we need to know are there any other weapons? Is anybody else in danger?”

James reportedly replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” adding “I was on the train,” and making reference to his “equipment.

The memo mentioned a Glock 17 pistol, allegedly with James’ DNA on it, being recovered from the northbound N train at 36th Street, along with an orange reflective vest and the hard hat James was reportedly wearing.  A phone, an ax, and credit cards were also discovered.

The agent had a final question for James, asking “There’s nothing hidden that’s going to explode? There’s no bombs that are going to go off? You have no friends that are going to do something bad?”

The government documents noted that a search of the suspect’s storage unit yielded “uncovered ammunition, magazines, a possible gun rack, gun cases, targets, a hobby fuse, and butane, among other items.”

At one point, James reportedly told the FBI agent he’d had weapons like a Ranch 14 rifle, a MAC .22 pistol and a Harvester 9mm.  

“All those guns, I got rid of them,” James allegedly said.  “They’ve been disposed of.”

The federal documents also included statements from a commuter identified as Victim-1, who said he entered the N train near James, who told him not to sit on a particular seat because someone had urinated there.

Victim-1 described the subway shooter wearing “an orange vest like a construction worker” and having a “black luggage bag with wheels and a white plastic bag.”

Victim-1 recalled at one point, he heard the man yell, “oh s—t,”  before a large, silver canister spewed black and white smoke and the commuter heard “a series of pops, people yelling, a pause for silence and then another 15 shots.”

Victim-1 said he started recording cell phone footage and tried to calm a gunshot victim in the car.  When the train got to the 36th Street Station, many commuters ran onto the platform in the smoke to an “R” train that was also at the stop.

Victim-1 can be heard yelling to MTA workers, “Orange! Orange! He was wearing orange.”

It didn’t take long for NYPD detectives to release a mugshot of James. They said he had driven a rental truck from Philadelphia to a parking spot near Kings Highway in Brooklyn, when he entered the subway system.   

According to the documents, James told the FBI agent he didn’t have any friends and was a “loner.”

He reportedly added that he spent most of his time drinking—and making YouTube videos.
James has been locked up since his arrest. His trial is supposed to begin in early 2023.