SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn (PIX11) – Wednesday marked the first anniversary of the Brooklyn subway attack in which a gunman shot 10 passengers on a train during the morning rush-hour commute.

“One year ago today, our community was shaken by a senseless act of gun violence on our subway,” said New York City Council member Alexa Avilés, who represents the Sunset Park neighborhood where the attack occurred.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The shooting happened on a northbound N train just before 8:25 p.m. on April 12, 2022. The gunman, 63-year-old Frank James, disguised himself as an MTA worker before entering the subway. While on the train, James put on a gas mask, set off a smoke canister and opened fire with a handgun as smoke filled the train, police officials said. 

“Frank James cold-bloodedly shot innocent New Yorkers traveling on the subway in Brooklyn and brought terror to our great city,” said Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

The ten people who were shot all survived their injuries. The shooting victims ranged in age from 16 to 60. More than a dozen other passengers suffered smoke inhalation and other injuries during the chaos.

“My subway door opened into calamity. It was smoke and blood and people screaming,” eyewitness Sam Carcamo told New York City radio station 1010 WINS after the shooting. Carcamo added that he saw billowing smoke pour out of the subway train once the door opened.

Bystanders recorded video at the scene showing people lying on the subway platform around small puddles of blood. 

James fled during the chaos and wasn’t immediately apprehended. After a 30-hour manhunt, James was arrested in Manhattan the day following the attack. He called the NYPD’s tip line to inform them he was at a McDonald’s restaurant in the East Village, law enforcement officials said. He was arrested without incident.

James deliberately planned the subway shooting as early as 2017, purchasing items he could use in an attack, including smoke grenades, ammunition, weapons and a disguise, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A motive for the attack is unclear. In numerous rants he posted on YouTube, James, who is Black, made bigoted remarks about people of various backgrounds and railed against New York City Mayor Eric Adams and complained about mental health care he received in the city years ago.

James sometimes adopted the moniker “Prophet of Doom.” He also decried the treatment of Black people and talked about how he was so frustrated, “I should have gotten a gun and just started shooting.” In one video, he appeared to be in a packed New York City subway car, raising his finger to point out passengers one by one.

In the months leading up to the attack, James did web searches for “MTA,” “New York,” “transit,” “stops on the N train,” and “311 kings highway brooklyn ny,” which is near where he parked a rented U-Haul van before entering the subway, authorities said.

James also posted videos online foreshadowing the attack, according to law enforcement officials. He stated that “if you hear the name Frank James on the news, if something happens to a Frank James that’s 60-something years old, chances are that’s me.”

Law enforcement also found a stockpile of weapons in James’ apartment and storage unit following the attack, officials said. James, a New York City native, had been living in Milwaukee and Philadelphia prior to the shooting.

In January, James pleaded guilty to 10 counts of committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transportation vehicle — one count for each gunshot victim — as well as one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of his attack.

James faces up to life in prison on each of the 11 counts. A date for his sentencing hasn’t been set.