It may have happened after he himself called the police to say he was at a McDonald’s branch, the Associated Press reported.
It remains unclear why James was hit. Police are also investigating his statements on social media. He had criticized the city’s new mayor, Eric Adams, online.
Police also say James has been arrested nine times in upstate New York and three times in neighboring New Jersey. This was for, among other things, sexual offending behaviour, trespassing, possession of burglary tools and disorderly behaviour.
The shooting occurred when a subway car arrived at the 36th Street station in Brooklyn. Shortly before his arrival, the gunman wore a gas mask and detonated two smoke bombs before firing 33 rounds from a semi-automatic firearm.
Ten passengers were shot. Five of them are in hospital in a critical but stable condition. Another 13 were injured when they fled. Footage taken shortly after the shooting showed passengers fleeing a smoke-filled subway in panic.
Mayor Eric Adams had called on residents of the capital to be “vigilant,” but also said there was no evidence the perpetrator had an accomplice. “It seems he acted alone,” Adams said. The suspect’s motive is unknown.
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