The man accused of opening fire on a packed New York subway car allegedly started planning his bloody assault as early as April 6 – and once he slipped away from the scene of the attack, cops had no idea where he was until he called police on himself.
Using information gleaned from court records, surveillance footage, photographs, NYPD officials, witnesses and law-enforcement sources, The Post has pieced together a timeline of Frank James’ movements before and after he allegedly opened fire on a Manhattan-bound N train on Tuesday morning, shooting 10 and leaving another 19 wounded.
The timeline, which begins on April 6, has a gap of about 24 hours after police lost sight of James about an hour after the attack due to camera malfunctions at the 36th Street and 25th Street subway stations.
“Where [was] he? That’s the million dollar question,” a police official told The Post Wednesday.
“We have the starting point then we have the ending point. Now we just need to backtrack.”
James checks into an Airbnb in Philadelphia, P.A., where he paid to stay for approximately 15 days.
James reserves and prepays for a white Chevrolet Express G2500 U-Haul truck.
James was scheduled to check out of the Philadelphia Airbnb, where his belongings were later found left behind, the New York Times reported.
April 11 at 2:03 p.m.:
James picks up his U-Haul rental from U-Haul Moving & Storage of Allegheny West in Philadelphia, located at 2801 W Hunting Park Ave.
April 11 at 6:17 p.m.:
James takes a Lyft to a storage facility registered to his name in Philadelphia. It not clear where the U-Haul was at that time. Federal investigators later find a cache of weapons and ammunition inside the storage facility, including 9mm ammunition, a threaded 9mm pistol barrel that allows for a silencer or suppressor to be attached, targets and .223 caliber ammunition, which is used with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.
April 12 at 4:11 a.m.:
NYPD video surveillance cameras capture James driving the U-Haul over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and entering Brooklyn after crossing state lines from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and then New York.
April 12 at 5:15 a.m.:
James is captured on surveillance footage walking down the 300 block of Kings Highway, wheeling a cart and carrying a bag, CBS 2 News reported.
April 12 at 6:12 a.m.:
Surveillance footage captured at West 7th Street and Kings Highway in Gravesend, Brooklyn appears to show James walking away from the U-Haul. He was captured wearing a yellow hard hat, orange working jacket with reflective tape and carrying a backpack in his right hand and dragging a rolling bag in his left. The U-Haul is later found about two blocks away from the Kings Highway N subway station.
April 12, approximately 8 a.m.:
James boards a Manhattan-bound N train at the Kings Highway subway stop and travels eight stops to 36th Street.
April 12, 8:26 a.m.:
James allegedly releases smoke bombs and opens fire in the second train car of a Manhattan-bound N train. He allegedly fires 33 rounds, shooting 10 and leaving another 19 wounded.
April 12, approximately 8:30 a.m.:
James takes off the jacket with reflective tape and ditches it at the 36th Street station amid the pandemonium. Two bags were also recovered from the scene of the shooting. One bag held multiple bank cards, a Glock 17 pistol, a plastic container containing gasoline, a torch and a U-Haul key. The second bag contained fireworks with black powder-filled explosives. A receipt for James’ storage facility is also found on the platform.
April 12, approximately 8:35 a.m.:
James blends in with commuters evacuating the station following the shooting. He crosses the 36th Street platform to board a Manhattan-bound R train and gets off at the next stop on 25th Street.
April 12, approximately 8:40 a.m.:
James is captured exiting the 25th Street station, where he ditched his construction helmet inside a trash can. He is then captured on surveillance footage strolling down 25th Street towards Greenwood Cemetery.
April 12, approximately 8:45 a.m.:
Evidence indicates James walked to Park Slope where police say he boarded a B67 bus to a subway station.
April 12, approximately 9:18 a.m.:
James is back on the rails after entering an F train station at Seventh Avenue and Ninth Street in Park Slope.
April 12, between 9:18 a.m. and midnight:
NYPD officers are on a “wild good chase” trying to catch James coming out of the subway again, a police official said. They do not find him.
April 13, approximately 10 a.m.:
James is finally spotted again by a member of the public near Canal and Ludlow streets, close to an F train stop.
April 13, between approximately 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.:
James travels to a McDonalds on East 6th Street and First Avenue. He spends approximately two hours at the location and at some point, calls Crime Stoppers and tells police where he is. When police arrive, James is already gone. During this approximate time period, James is spotted sitting down at an outdoor dining shed and using a Link NYC hub to charge his phone.
April 13, 1:42 p.m.:
James is taken into custody at St. Mark’s Place and First Avenue.
Additional reporting by Larry Celona, Joe Marino and Craig McCarthy