Frank James, the man named by the New York City Police Department as a person of interest in the Brooklyn subway shooting, talked about violence and mass shootings in multiple rambling videos posted on YouTube, including one uploaded Monday in which he said he’s thought about killing people who have presumably hurt him.
The NYPD named James a person of interest because they believe he rented a U-Haul van whose keys were found at the scene of the shooting. Police are currently investigating whether he has any connection to the shooting and have not named him as a suspect.
CNN has linked the YouTube videos to James because a screenshot from one of them is being used on a NYPD Crimestoppers flyer. Also, in one of the videos, he posts a City of New York ID card from a past educational training program.
In what appears to be his latest video posted Monday, James talks about someone who engaged in violence and ended up in jail. He said he could identify, but talked about the consequences.
“I’ve been through a lot of s**t, where I can say I wanted to kill people. I wanted to watch people die right in front of my f**king face immediately. But I thought about the fact that, hey man, I don’t want to go to no f**king prison.”
CNN has reached out to James – and his family – for comment, but has not received a response.
Many of the videos that James uploaded included references to violence, including at a set group of people he believed had maligned him, in addition to broad societal and racial groups that he appeared to hate.
In another video posted last week, James, who is Black, rants about abuse in churches and racism in the workplace, using misogynistic and racist language.
After talking about community violence, James said, “We need to see more mass shootings. Yeah. … We need to see more, there has to be more mass shootings to make a n***er understand. … It’s not about the shooter; it’s about the environment in which he is, he has to exist.”
That speech was a common theme throughout James’ videos, in which he repeatedly espoused hatred toward African Americans.
In another video posted last month to the same channel, James said that he had post-traumatic stress. In that video, James said he left his home in Milwaukee on March 20. During the trip eastward, he said he was heading to the “danger zone.”
“You know, it’s triggering a lot of negative thoughts of course,” he said in the video. “I do have a severe case of post-traumatic stress.”
Preliminary information indicated James mentioned homelessness, New York City, and the city’s new mayor, Eric Adams, in online posts, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Tuesday, adding that as a result the city would increase the mayor’s security.
Police released two photos of James at a news conference Tuesday night, including one that appeared to be a screengrab from a YouTube video he had posted.
The NYPD said keys belonging to a U-Haul that had been rented under his name in Philadelphia were found among the shooter’s possessions at the shooting scene in Brooklyn.
Police were careful to refer to James only as a “person of interest” because of the link to the U-Haul rental, noting that they were not accusing him at this point of being the shooter.
The videos give insight into James’ path to the Northeast. He arrived in Philadelphia March 25 after stops in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Pittsburgh; and Newark, New Jersey.