A suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting documented his trip to New York in YouTube videos
Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James has documented his trip from Wisconsin to the northeast in a series of YouTube videos posted in recent weeks.
In a video uploaded March 20, James said he left Milwaukee (authorities said he was linked to addresses in Wisconsin) and was staying overnight at a hotel in Fort Wayne, in Indiana.
“Only on the road, man, just wondering why I’m going back into the danger zone, so to speak,” he said in this video. “You know, it triggers a lot of negative thoughts, of course, because I’m in pain, I have a bad case of PTSD after the shit I’ve been through for all these fucking years.”
James said he was hauling all of his stuff in the van and storing some of it in a storage unit in the Philadelphia area. Although James said Philadelphia was his final destination, he said the Penske truck he rented was to be dropped off in Newark, New Jersey.
Penske was approached by CNN, which did not confirm that James had rented a van, but said it contacted the FBI to help with its investigation.
After the night in Fort Wayne, James continued east and headed for Pittsburgh, where he said in a video posted March 21 that he was staying at a hotel near Pittsburgh International Airport.
The following night, in another video, James said he had found a hotel near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
In this video, he is seen drinking whiskey and later begins to show signs of intoxication. Towards the end of the video, he begins to articulate his words and at one point says he is falling asleep.
He said he recently quit drinking because it gave him “the jolt”.
Around March 25, James uploaded a video claiming he had arrived in the Philadelphia area. It is not known where James was between March 22 and March 25 based on the videos.
In this March 25 video, James said he was staying at a Best Western hotel in Bordentown, New Jersey. He also gave his room number and a short tour of the room.
James is also seen drinking in this video.
“Okay, I tried getting high on some Jim Beam a little earlier to make this video,” he said. “I want to get high to do this video because I felt like I really couldn’t, it seems like I try my best when I’m high.”
James also said he was last in New York “a few years ago.”
In the video, James also mentions that he would be staying at the hotel until March 28, when he would move to another accommodation in Philadelphia.
The videos have since been removed by YouTube.
CNN has confirmed that James rented a short-term rental apartment on West Ontario Street in Philadelphia. A neighbor identified James to CNN and said James was at the apartment last week and was seen unloading boxes from a U-Haul truck.
The neighbor also told CNN that police recently searched the apartment.
In an unsealed criminal complaint after James’ arrest, prosecutors alleged that James actually rented an apartment and storage unit in Philadelphia. Records from ride-sharing operator Lyft show he visited the facility on April 11 at 6:17 p.m. ET, according to the complaint.
Those records also indicate that James ordered around 21 trips to and from the apartment between March 28 and April 10. CNN has reached out to the Philadelphia apartment management company for comment, but has yet to hear back.
According to the complaint, records from the apartment management company indicate that James rented the apartment for at least 15 days.
James didn’t mention any plans to visit the New York area or convey any concrete plans he planned to shoot in the videos CNN reviewed.
CNN previously reported that on April 6, James made a reservation to pick up a U-Haul van on April 11 in Philadelphia, according to transaction documentation.
At 4 a.m. ET Tuesday, just hours before the attack, James drove the U-Haul van to Brooklyn from Staten Island across the Verrazzano Bridge, CNN reported.
James was taken into custody on Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Wednesday afternoon around 2 p.m. ET.