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New York subway shooting suspect arrested after manhunt

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Several American media quoting police sources reported on Wednesday that the man suspected of having fired in the New York subway at rush hour on Tuesday morning, injuring 23 people, including 10 by bullets, had been arrested. He will be prosecuted for “terrorist attack”.

The man suspected of having fired in the New York subway at rush hour on Tuesday morning, injuring 23, including 10 by bullets, was arrested on Wednesday, reported several American media citing police sources. The suspect, who had wreaked havoc on the subway the day before, was found in Manhattan, according to NBC television. He will be prosecuted for “terrorist attack”.

“We will continue to tighten the trap around him and stop him”, promised in the morning the Democratic mayor of New York, Eric Adams, expected at the turn on the theme of the fight against crime, he who had made it a campaign theme to be elected last year.

Shootings at 36th Street station

The police had been looking for more than 24 hours for Frank James, a 62-year-old African-American, accused of having repeatedly fired on an N line train at the 36th street station in the south of Brooklyn. On Wednesday, New Yorkers received an “urgent” message on their phones asking them to deliver any useful information to investigators. A $50,000 reward had been put on the table.

The man had a YouTube page, dubbed “prophetoftruth88” (prophet of truth) removed Wednesday morning for “violation of the community rules” of the site. He posted multiple videos there where we see him launching long tirades, sometimes rambling and vehement, in which he evokes racial issues, insecurity in New York, especially on the subway, and attacks homosexual people, or new mayor Eric Adams.

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The suspect described as dangerous

As the hunt for the shooter, described as “dangerous” the day before, continued, millions of New Yorkers took to the subway, one of the largest networks in the world, to go to work, some posting selfies on the social networks to show that life was getting back to normal.

“You don’t get up in the morning thinking you’re not going to make it home or that you’re going to hurt yourself going there. It’s New York, the city never stops,” explained to the AFP Sony Washington, a 35-year-old machinist, while worried that the suspect is still in the wild. “I always pay attention to my surroundings since September 11 (2001). But there have been more incidents on the docks recently, so I pay more attention,” added Laura Swalm, 49, who lives the neighboring state of New Jersey.

33 bullets fired

Tuesday morning, around 8:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. GMT), at a time when the metro trains are crowded, the individual, who was wearing a gas mask, lit two devices which smoked the car, then shot at the passengers while as the train entered the station. “We were really lucky it wasn’t much more serious,” said NYPD Chief Keechant Sewell, summing up the authorities’ relief. The suspect fired 33 rounds. “All you see is black smoke, and I turned to the right, and I saw this guy with a mask,” testified on CNN one of the victims, Hourari Benkada, since his hospital bed.

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“The shootout lasted about a minute (…). I’ve never heard so many shots from a handgun… (…) He probably had extended magazines or some other weapon on fire,” added the man, hit in the knee. At the scene, investigators found a handgun and three magazines.

Rise in crime in New York

The attack came as New York has faced a spike in crime since the Covid-19 pandemic, with the number of homicides rising from 319 in 2019 to 488 in 2021, although the annual toll remains well in below the more than 2,000 per year recorded in the early 1990s.

Shootings have also remained on the rise since the start of the year, rising from 260 to 296 in the first quarter of 2022, according to police figures, some of which have made an impression, such as the death on Friday of a 17-year-old girl. , shot dead outside a high school in the Bronx.

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