US: Syrian man hailed for helping police nab NYC subway shooting suspect

After he spotted the suspect, Zach Tahhan followed the man and tipped off authorities

By Web Desk

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Published: Thu 14 Apr 2022, 6:20 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Apr 2022, 2:05 PM

New York City is celebrating a 21-year-old Syrian immigrant after he tipped off authorities about the Brooklyn subway shooting suspect, who was later arrested.

Zach Tahhan, a security camera technician, was fixing a camera outside a convenience store when he saw the suspect - Frank R. James - through one of the security cameras, the New York Times reported.

Addressing reporters and bystanders, Tahhan said: “I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is the guy, we need to get him.’ He was walking down the street, I see the car of the police, I said, ‘Yo, this is the guy!’"

After he spotted the suspect, Tahhan ran out onto the street and followed the suspect even though he said people must've "thought he was crazy". Police told the New York Times that they had received a tip about James' whereabouts.

The tip appeared to have come from Tahhan, though authorities did not confirm whether his actions led to the suspect's arrest.

However, Tahhan has been hailed on social media, with many calling him a hero. A hashtag, #ThankYouZack, has been trending online, as people shared clips and videos of his impromptu news conference to the public and reporters.

James, 62, was taken into custody in Manhattan’s East Village neighbourhood, law enforcement officials who weren’t authorised to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press.

Police had initially said Tuesday that James was being sought for questioning because he had rented a van possibly connected to the attack, but weren’t sure whether he was responsible for the shooting. Mayor Eric Adams said in a series of media interviews Wednesday morning that investigators had upgraded James to a suspect, but did not offer details beyond citing “new information that became available to the team.”


The gunman sent off smoke grenades in a crowded subway car and then fired at least 33 shots with a 9 mm handgun, police said.

Five gunshot victims were in critical condition but all 10 wounded in the shooting were expected to survive. At least a dozen others who escaped gunshot wounds were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries.

(With inputs from AP)

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