New York Subway Shooter Sentenced to Life in Prison

The man responsible for one of the most violent attacks on New York City’s transit system has been sentenced to life in prison.

Frank James, who pleaded guilty to terrorism charges related to the mass shooting aboard a Manhattan-bound train, was handed down a life sentence on 10 counts. The incident, which took place in April 2022, is considered one of the most violent attacks ever seen on the city’s transit system.

Frank James was sentenced to life imprisonment for 10 counts of violence and 10 years for an 11th count of firing a gun during a violent act. He had shot multiple people in a subway car full of passengers in New York City on April 12, 2022.

Three of his victims testified in court about the physical and emotional pain they still suffer more than a year after the horrific attack. One of them, a young man named B.K., said he could not make sense of what happened. He was visibly emotional as he spoke. Another victim, L.C., who was 51 years old and worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said he had PTSD and suicidal thoughts. He bought an e-bike to avoid taking the subway. When he finally returned to the subway, he was triggered by seeing a man wearing a vest similar to James’. He said he thought of James with anger.

A third victim, Fatim Gjelosh, 21, tried to forgive James and said he needed help, but he broke down in tears and left the court. He came back later to hear the judge’s verdict. James apologized for his actions but blamed the mental health system for failing him. He said it was especially unfair to people of color like him. The judge, William Kuntz, was not persuaded. He called James’ actions “pure evil”. He agreed with the prosecutors who asked for the life sentence, saying James planned the shooting for years to cause maximum damage. James’ lawyers had asked for 18 years, saying he did not intend to kill anyone and citing his mental illness.

James had disguised himself as a construction worker on the day of the shooting. He waited until the train was between stations, so that no one could escape. Then he set off smoke bombs and fired 32 shots from a 9 mm handgun at the terrified passengers. The attack injured people aged from 16 to 60. James walked out of the station calmly and disappeared. The police found him after more than a day, using a key to a rented van that he left behind on the train. He also called a tip line to surrender himself.