Newly-released video shows chaos and gore in aftermath of April 2022 subway shooting in Brooklyn


New York CNN  — 

One of the first things you can hear is the sound of someone moaning.

The camera is shaky, but in the video, you can see blood on the ground and on the seats. The smoke begins to clear and then, the confusion sets in.

“I don’t know – someone’s bleeding,” a man can be heard saying. Later he asks aloud, “was it gunshots?”

A few moments after, amid the screeching of the subway car, glimpses of a tangle of injured people are seen close to the floor, with more blood pooling around some of them. A man continues to moan, and another advises him to “stay low.”

The graphic video, taken by one of the 29 people injured after Frank James opened fire on a crowded New York City subway train during morning rush hour on April 12, shows the chaos, confusion and gore of the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

The witness’ video was one of several pieces of evidence unsealed Thursday in James’ case. CNN has reached out to attorneys representing James for comment.

James, who initially pleaded not guilty last May, admitted on Tuesday to 10 counts of committing a terrorist attack and other violence against a mass transportation system and vehicle carrying passengers and employees. He also pleaded guilty to one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. 

James, 63, is accused of setting off smoke grenades and firing a handgun at least 33 times on a crowded train traveling toward the 36th Street station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood.

He is due to be sentenced at a later date, but his sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

By the time the 13-minute video begins, the shooting has stopped, but the train has yet to reach the next station, so everyone on the train car remains trapped inside, prosecutors said in a new court filing Thursday.

James fled the scene and was not apprehended by authorities until the next day, but it’s unclear at what point he left the train car.

A passenger can be heard on the video asking someone to help him. The man who shot the video says he will help, and can be heard asking the passenger, “are you OK?”

“No, f**k, my leg hurts a lot,” the passenger responds.

As soon as the train pulls into the next station, people on the video can be seen rushing out one of the subway car’s doors. While some rush into another train on the opposite side of the platform, others collapse to the ground, with more blood pooling around them.

“Oh f**k, that’s a lot of blood! Sh*t,” the injured passenger can be heard saying. Other shouting can be heard around them, before another man, whom prosecutors describe as “subway worker,” yells out, “Did anybody see what happened?”

The man who took the video, whom prosecutors describe as “Victim-1” responds “yes.” He then proceeds to say there was an “explosion bomb,” “black smoke” and a “popping sound” that came from the end of the train next to a construction worker “with orange clothes on.”

About one minute later, as MTA workers are trying to gather more information about what happened, the video captures Victim-1 yell out again: “Orange! Orange! He was wearing orange!” the court filing from prosecutors states.

Later on, the video moves to show the inside of the now-empty subway car, with a large amount of blood on the car’s floor. An MTA worker can be heard making an announcement asking others to leave the station, while another passenger still cries out in pain on the station’s floor.

The video ends with glimpses of first responders arriving on the platform. The person who took the video was eventually treated for smoke inhalation at an area hospital and released, according to an NYPD document also unsealed Thursday.

A 30-hour manhunt for the perpetrator ensued after the subway shooting, only to conclude when James turned himself into authorities.

After he was arrested, James was interviewed at least twice on April 13. Videos of those interviews were also unsealed Thursday, with faces of the investigators blurred.

In the first video, when investigators ask him if there are any more weapons out there or if he had any other plans to hurt anyone, Frank appears to deny any involvement in the shooting and says he was just another passenger on the train.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about at all. See, I was on the train. I was on the train,” James said. “I was on the train and when whatever happened, happened — anybody else … all I had was my equipment that was in my bag and in my shopping cart. And the only thing in my coat was just more clothes to cover my face because of the smoke was blinding me and making me nauseous and all of that. That’s all I’m saying.”

James later admitted to having guns, but said they were “disposed of.”

“That has nothing to do with me. You know, so I don’t, you know, I really don’t want to answer these questions without having an attorney involved in this situation,” James said. “Every firearm that – every firearm that I have owned has been disposed of. And that’s all I can tell you.”

The interview lasted less than four minutes. A few minutes later, other investigators are seen on video entering the room where James is being held. During this interview, James begins talking about his YouTube page and how he uses it to “express himself.”

At one point, he also says, “violence is all right any time, violence is all right all the time.” 

CNN has previously reported James was linked to a series of videos posted to a YouTube channel that have since been removed.

CNN was able to analyze the videos before they were taken down. They include rambling speeches filled with racist and misogynistic language, as well as references to violence.

Investigators also searched James’ storage unit and the apartment in which he was staying before the attack. Law enforcement records from those searches, also unsealed Thursday, state items such as a stun gun, ammunition, a train schedule, empty gun magazines, handwritten notes and “smoke bombs” were found.