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tv   Nightline  ABC  April 14, 2022 12:37am-1:06am PDT

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[ cheers and applause ] xx this is "nightline." tonight. inside the manhunt. the gunman wanted for opening fire on the busiest subway system in the country. finally in custody. >> there was nowhere left for him to run. >> what the suspect said when he called the tip line. police now piecing together a time line. how the suspect evaded capture for nearly 30 hours. >> i literally took out my phone. i showed the cop the picture of the guy. this is the guy right there. >> and the search for a motive. plus, uncovering horrors in bucha. the gruesome search, the poignant stories. >> one, two, three, four, five bodies in this tiny room in this
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basement. >> ukrainians were recounting a month of horror under russian occupation. now investigating war crimes. and history made on the field of dreams. "nightline" will be right back.
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thanks for joining us.
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tonight a very public arrest after a massive manhunt for the suspect wanted for a shooting rampage in the nation's busiest subway system. now the latest on the search for a motive. this as law enforcement analyze hours of videos reportedly posted by the suspect himself. here's abc's reporter. >> reporter: after nearly 30 hours of unease, the search for the new york city subway shooter ending in an unexpectedly calm manner. >> we were able to shrink his world quickly. there was nowhere left for him to run. >> reporter: police taking frank james who was recharging his phone on a busy manhattan street into custody without incident. the 62-year-old had slipped into the crowd and disappeared yesterday, after opening fire on a subway car in brooklyn, injuring 29 people and leading authorities on a full-scale manhunt encompassing several states.
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bystanders capturing his arrest on camera. videos flooding social media. >> i knew it was him instantly. i told my wife, sweetheart, we have to go. the subway shooter is right behind us. >> reporter: lee is a local artist who owns a gallery just blocks away. he said he recognized the suspect right away. >> i kept my distance safely, but i did not let him out of my sight until i was able to tell a police officer that there he is. >> i saw him! trust me. this is the guy. >> reporter: zach who was in a nearby store that he spotted james and flagged down police. >> i see him walking over there. i told police. this is that guy. he did that problem in brooklyn. this guy, catch him. catch him. they catch him. thank god. >> reporter: authorities say it was a crime stopper's at this point that led to the capture. in an almost unbelievable turn of events, they say he was the one who made that call.
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>> he said to the police, i believe you're looking for me. he gave his location as a mcdonald's and that's where police were sent. the problem is when they arrived, he was not there. >> they start driving around the neighborhood looking for him. they see him on the corner of st. mark's and first and they took him into custody. no incident taking him into custody. >> reporter: tonight james is being held in federal custody charged with terror-related offenses. >> this was a combination of good police work and good luck. >> reporter: authorities laid out a detailed time line of james' movements leading up to the arrest. they say investigators poured over hours of surveillance video, trying to piece together what happened. and that they began focusing on james after discovering the first bits of evidence on the subway platform, finding two bags. one containing fireworks. the other a glock. tracing that gun back to james who they say purchased the weapon legally in ohio in 2011.
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authorities say there were marks on the gun, attempting to deface the serial number and perhaps avoid connection with the firearm. they also recovered several bank cards belonging to james. >> criminals always make mistakes. good detectives find those mistakes and turn them into evidence. >> reporter: according to law enforcement, the day before the attack, james rented this u-haul in philadelphia with one of those cards. surveillance cameras showed that very same u-haul crossing the verrazano bridge into brooklyn. approximately two hours later, another surveillance camera captured a man believed to be james, wearing a hard hat, and that orange vest described by witnesses and dragging a roller bag walking down the street. police say this video also part of the investigation shows the suspect entering king's highway subway station prior to the shooting. >> this station is three blocks from where we recovered the u-haul truck that he rented in
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philadelphia. >> reporter: the attack on the manhattan-bound n train unfolding at 8:26 a.m. as the train approached the 36th street station. authorities say james put on a gas mask, tack canister out of bag and opened it. this video shot by one of the passengers, showing the smoke beginning to fill the train car. then the suspect opened fire. >> we have witnesses on the train who said he was sitting in the back corner of the second car, and he pops the smoke grenade. and we have one witness who says, what did you do? he goes, ooms! and then he pops it and fires 33 times. >> reporter: this survivor telling cnn, he was sitting right next to the shooter when the attack began. >> this pregnant woman was in front of me. i was trying to help i just thought it was a black smoke bomb. she said i'm pregnant with a
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baby. i hugged her and then the bum rush continued. i got pushed and that's when i got shot in the back of my knee. >> i see people with blood all over their clothes. people literally on top of each other. crowding over each other, trying to get out of the way. trying to get, to not be seen. just panicking. >> reporter: incredibly, there were no fatalities. authorities say the extended magazine in the shooter's gun jammed, which they say undoubtedly helped save lives. >> 36th street and 4th avenue. >> i was a few cars down. the train conductor told everyone to get on the train and i was scared. >> reporter: 29 people were treated at nearby hospitals. ten with gunshot wounds. five in critical condition. nine remain in the hospitals. all in stable condition. in the chaos, police say james boarded another train, blending in with all the freightened
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commuters who had no idea the suspect was amongst them. >> after firing his weapon 33 times, at innocent new york subway riders, mr. james boarded an r train and it pulled boo the station, went one stop up and exited at 25th street station. >> reporter: 14 minutes after the attack, the authorities say this video shows james emerging from the subway and disappearing into the big apple. >> it appears frank james was able to just blend in with the crowd in all the chaos and confusion. he step into brooklyn and blends in with the rest of the public. >> he planned this fairly well. he bought all these things. he planned it. and his execution didn't go so well but nonetheless, he planned it. he's not insane. he's just pure evil. >> reporter: so far authorities have not determined a motive. since james has been in custody, he hasn't spoken except when asking for a lawyer.
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and the criminal explain, prosecutors say he made statements on his youtube page that are consistent with him carrying out his actions. in particular, talking about carrying out an attack on the subway. in one video, posted the day before the shooting, he allegedly said, i can say i wanted to kill people. i wanted to watch people die. in another video, it is clear his attention had turned to ncc, allegedly saying, mr. mayor, i'm a victim. your mental health program. i'm 63, now full of hate, full of anger and full of bitterness. >> the lone wolf attacker syndrome is what appears to be it right now. he lives by himself. he has no relatives. he is speaking on a social media platform and he's just ranting on and on and on. >> reporter: james had nine prior arrests in new york throughout the '90s but no felony convictions. >> he is known to us and has ties in wisconsin, ohio,
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pennsylvania, new jersey and new york city. those include possession of burglary tools, four times. criminal sex act. they of service two times. >> reporter: new yorkers resting easier tonight with the suspect behind bars. but for authorities, the work now entering a new phase. >> he will be arraigned in federal court in brooklyn. if convicted, he will face a sentence of up to life in prison. >> our thanks. coming up, what the dead may tell us about a month of horror in bucha, ukraine. 15 or more headache days a month each lasting 4 hours or more, you're not the only one with questions about botox®. botox® prevents headaches in adults with chronic migraine before they even start, with about 10 minutes of treatment once every 3 months. so, ask your doctor if botox® is right for you, and if a sample is available. effects of botox® may spread hours to weeks after injection
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it's bebl nearly 50 days since russia launched a war in ukraine. president biden today authorizing 800 million more u.s. dollars in assistance for the country under siege. even accusing russian forces of committing crime that qualify as genocide. james longman is in bucha, ukraine, the site of some of the worst atrocities. >> reporter: the small town of bucha has come to define putin's war on ukraine. for days, forensic experts have been revealing it. body after body, brought from ultimately failed to occupy. >> six or seven bodies in black bags. there will be more beneath the earth. i can see bodies of people who have just been thrown in as they
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are. >> reporter: the whole town, now a crime scene. for over a month, russian soldiers occupied bucha. when they retreated on march 31st, the rest of the world began to see the horrors the town had endured. more than 400 bodies have been recovered here. the majority civilians, and almost every day that number grows. we made our way there just days after the russians had left. on the outskirts of town, we were brought to a hastily dug grave. the sign of what was to come. an elderly man and the family buried. she was reportedly tortured. arms and fingers broken, killed, and left with her husband and son. they refused to cooperate with the invaders. their bodies still lying in the pit because there's concern mines may be nearby. in bucha itself, more signs that civilians were deliberately targeted. people look like they were
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executed as they went about their lives. one with hands bound behind his back. another appears to have been shot while riding his bike. groceries scattered near this man's body. what threat did he pose? and what we saw next, one of the darkest images of this war. in the basement of a summer camp -- one, two, three, four, five bodies in this tiny room in this basement where ukrainians say people have been tortured, and i can see their hands behind their backs. >> reporter: this is the mother of one of those men. 40-year-old, who she said had been trying to help locals flee. for what, she keeps repeating. she can't understand the pointless murder. her son was shot eight times. knife wounds all over his body. >> reporter: russia says this
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didn't happen. what would you say to vladimir putin? >> reporter: for the first time since the invasion started, president biden accused his russian counter part of committing genocide in ukraine. >> your family budget, the ability to fill up your tank, none of it should depend on whether a dictator decides to commit genocide half a world away. >> reporter: russia denies it all calling it staged. what we saw in bucha tells a different story. in this one apartment complex, everyone saw death. he tells us the russians imposed a curfew between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. they killed his brother for the simple act of going out for a cigarette. upstairs, every mention of her son makes maria cry.
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we have to collect his body. how can you bear it? survive it, she says? she tells us how proud she was of him. an electrician. he helped set up the basement as a shelter for refugees. these people had lives, families, they had happiness. and these are the memories. i think this woman's life will never be the same. >> reporter: he takes us downstairs to show us the basement. it was where he and about 20 residents tried to stay alive. imagine the horror this man has lived through. he's kind of apologetic for the state of the cellar. this is where they had to live. they lived for a month underground. the conditions, subhuman. this was a community under siege. we heard the bombing all the time, he says. i don't understand how anyone above ground could have lived. the atrocities in bucha have left the international community reeling and raised alarms over possible war crimes. >> there is a series of
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conventions that describe what is permissible and not permissible in the conduct of war. generally speaking, targeting civilians, targeting noncombatants is prohibited by these laws. >> reporter: ukraine's prosecutor general says her team has already launched investigations into more than 5,800 alleged war crimes. >> it is a very difficult thing to understand. people from countries who are in peace. i even, it it can be possible if the 21 century. >> reporter: discovering these crimes has been quick. justice for them, however, will take far longer to achieve. what slows justice down at the international criminal court is the difficulty in arresting the suspects. because often, they are protected as members of a government, or even as heads of state.
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>> reporter: he struggles to find the words for his trauma.p grass outside his building. now a gravesite for three of his friends. this man, you can see, he's desperate to tell us his story. he's been living underground for the last month. his friends were murdered by the russians. that's what he tells us, in this apartment building. dragged out and killed. and they've been buried in the gardens alongside this car, behind the car here. you can see another grave. >> he says russian troops killed everyone under the age of 50. even throwing a grenade. he had to collect his body parts and put them in a bag before burying them here. you're 53. so you made it by three years. you've told me what happened. i would like to know what you feel. >> translator: three times.
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>> reporter: you're shaking. this war has been forge in the people's homes, in their living rooms. his daughter's bedroom went up in flames. a shell slamming right against the wall of he said russian troops came -- putin said his troops came as liberators but here they took over with weeks of go on participation. >> i don't think there is any better way to show you how much civilians have been on the front line of this war. someone's living room, now a war zone. russians were squatting here, living here. they occupied this place and now it is destroyed. >> reporter: tears of pain but also perhaps relief. although the trauma of what is experi experienced for what is to come.
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i can see in your eyes, you're relieved. >> reporter: now with russian troops gone, this town ravaged by war, hoping for peace and justice. >> our thanks to james. up next, first on the field but definitely not the last. to . ruby's a1c is down with rybelsus®. my a1c wasn't at goal, now i'm down with rybelsus®. mom's a1c is down with rybelsus®. (♪ ♪) in a clinical study, once-daily rybelsus® significantly lowered a1c better than a leading branded pill. rybelsus® isn't for people with type 1 diabetes. don't take rybelsus® if you or your family ever had medullary thyroid cancer, or have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if allergic to it. stop rybelsus® and get medical help right away if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, severe stomach pain, or an allergic reaction.
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finally tonight, a history making home run. kidding and smashing through glass ceiling, alyssa nakken with the san francisco giants
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becoming the first woman to coach on a major league baseball field in a regular season game. and to commemorate the momentous occasion, her bright orange helmet now on its way to the baseball hall of fame. and that is her own field of dream. that's knight lionel. you can watch our full episodes on hulu. you can see us the same time tomorrow. thank you for staying up with us. good night, america. >> take america's number one news with you. download the abc news app now. breaking news, exclusives, 24/7. download the abc news app now. breaking news, exclusives, 24/7. ther i'm 53, but in my mind i'm still 35. that's why i take osteo bi-flex, to keep me moving the way i was made to.


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