What To Know Today
Shooting suspect arrested in New York. Frank James, 62, was apprehended in Manhattan’s East Village after reportedly tipping off police to his own location. The ATF confirmed that James legally bought the 9mm Glock handgun used in the shooting from a federally licensed firearm dealer in Ohio, in 2011. Police told reporters that he had at least 12 prior arrests in New York and New Jersey for a variety of charges, but never for a felony. Investigators were still looking into possible motives. But numerous videos from the suspect’s social media accounts had veered erratically from anti-Semitic rants to racism, and acknowledgements of his own mental distress and hardships in New York City. Federal officials charged James with carrying out a terrorist attack on mass transit, for which he could receive a life sentence if convicted. New York State may also bring charges. James is expected to appear in court today. Two Brooklyn shootings that flew under the radar: On Tuesday afternoon, three people were reportedly shot in broad daylight in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, while on Wednesday evening, a 15-year-old was injured and reportedly in stable condition after a shooting in public in Downtown Brooklyn.
Members of Congress urge ATF to take further action against auto sears. In a letter to the ATF’s acting director, 41 House Democrats implored the agency to “issue updated and explicit guidance on auto sears, put a stop to gun companies pushing the legal limits on these devices, and provide additional resources to help rid communities like ours of these dangerous devices.” More from The Trace: The devices, which convert semiautomatic weapons to fire as machine guns, were the subject of our recent investigation with Vice and also figured into a mass shooting in Sacramento, California, earlier this month.
New Orleans’ most violent weekend in 10 years. In 15 separate shootings, six people were killed and 12 others were wounded. “It’s like a war-zone experience. It’s devastating,” said Leslie Ellison, who serves on a neighborhood council in Algiers, where the violence was concentrated. “It hurts families on both sides. Whether you are on the victim’s side or the perpetrator’s side — it hurts both sides.” Investing in solutions: To curb the city’s two-year spike in violent crime, the Vera Institute, an advocacy and criminal justice reform group, advised the city to invest more in youth services, community violence intervention, and mental health assistance.
Illinois on the verge of banning ghost guns. The state Legislature passed a measure that bans the sale or transfer of guns or ghost gun kits that lack serial numbers, and requires anyone who possesses an unserialized gun to get them engraved with a serial number. Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign the measure, which would make Illinois the first Midwestern state to have a ghost gun ban. As in other large cities, Chicago Police have reported an uptick in ghost guns at crime scenes in recent years.
77 — the number of defendants who were exonerated of homicide in 2021, about 40 percent of last year’s 161 total exonerees. Seventy-seven percent of homicide cases were marred by official misconduct. [The National Registry of Exonerations]