Prosecutors want “permanent detention” for Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James, who appeared in court Thursday to face what may be the first of several charges in connection with the Tuesday attack that left 29 people with injuries, including 10 with bullet wounds.
Thursday’s appearance is related to federal charges against the 62-year-old suspect. It’s likely he will also face additional state charges.
According to Fox News, a detention memo filed by prosecutors stated, “The defendant committed a premediated mass shooting on the New York City subway system and then fled the scene, with a stockpile of ammunition and other dangerous items stowed in his storage unit… The defendant presents a severe and ongoing danger to the community, as well as a serious risk of flight, that no set of release conditions can mitigate.”
James, 62, is being held without bail, according to WABC News.
NBC News is reporting that the handgun used in the shooting rampage, a 9mm Glock, jammed. It was recovered at the crime scene, and according to unnamed law enforcement sources, there were three magazines with the gun, each with a 30-round capacity. Such magazines are already illegal in New York, adding to the belief that the shooting proves Empire State gun control laws failed to prevent yet another violent crime.
NPR is reporting that attorneys representing James have asked that he be given a psychiatric evaluation.
“Authorities are still investigating the motive in James’ attack,” NPR reported. “But videos posted by James on YouTube revealed sexist and racist comments, and references to causing violence, as well as several mentions of his own struggle with mental illness.”
James allegedly disguised himself as a construction worker as he made his way into the Brooklyn subway station. After the shooting, he apparently ditched the orange vest and hardhat, blending in with the crowd.
While gun control proponents may push for more laws, using the shooting as an excuse, a new Rasmussen survey is showing 51 percent of likely voters do not believe stricter gun laws would prevent such an incident. The same poll shows 59 percent “think it is not possible to completely prevent mass shootings like the one in Brooklyn.”
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, says “What happened in that Brooklyn subway was unconscionable, and if the suspect is found guilty, he should face the harshest punishment. But as the Rasmussen survey shows, most Americans don’t think it should result in stricter gun control laws that penalize honest gun owners for a crime they clearly did not commit.”