Five tipsters will split a $50,000 reward for providing police with information that led to the arrest of the suspect in Tuesday’s mass shooting on a New York City subway train, officials said.
The alleged gunman in the shooting, 62-year-old Frank James, was taken into custody on the streets of Manhattan Wednesday afternoon, about 30 hours after 10 people were shot on a Brooklyn N train.
While the manhunt was underway, police urged the public for help in locating the suspect. New York Police Department detectives identified five people whose tips “contributed directly to the arrest,” the NYPD said.
The five good Samaritans, who have not been publicly identified, will evenly split a combined $50,000 worth of Crime Stoppers rewards provided by the Police Foundation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transport Workers Union Local 100. Crime Stoppers rewards are distributed upon the arrest and indictment of an individual.
“We appreciate all of those who responded to our call for information to locate this suspect, including all of those whose tips did not pan out,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement. “We urged the public to join us in this effort to find this suspect and New Yorkers stepped up.”
Police have not shared what information helped lead to the arrest, and tipsters are offered anonymity. Though there have been several reports of witnesses spotting James after he was named as a suspect in the shooting, which occurred Tuesday morning on a rush-hour, Manhattan-bound N train as it approached the 36th Street station in Sunset Park.
A cellphone alert with James’ description went out to New York City residents at 10:21 a.m. Wednesday, and multiple sightings followed as the suspect wandered the streets of lower Manhattan.
At around 10:30 a.m., he was spotted sitting outside Dimes, a restaurant in Chinatown, sources said. Witnesses took pictures of him sitting, apparently using a Link NYC hub to charge his phone, and posted to social media, tagging police, sources said.
Another possible stop a few hours later was Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side, sources said. A manager at Katz’s told ABC News that James did not eat inside the restaurant the day of his arrest but said he might have been spotted nearby.
Just after 1 p.m. Wednesday, James called Crime Stoppers on himself, saying he was in a McDonald’s in the East Village, according to sources. James reportedly said: “I think you’re looking for me. I’m seeing my picture all over the news and I’ll be around this McDonald’s.”
By the time police arrived, James had already left the McDonald’s. But a good Samaritan spotted James nearby at St. Mark’s Place and First Avenue and flagged down police, sources said.
James was taken into custody without incident and charged by federal prosecutors with a terror-related offense. At his first court appearance on Thursday, he was ordered held without bail. He faces up to life in prison.