A security camera installer named Zack is today’s internet hero

Image via Twitter/Samantha Zirkin

If you saw “Zack” trending on Twitter Wednesday, it isn’t due to the latest calls to restore the SnyderVerse, but a security camera installer in New York City that identified the Brooklyn mass shooting suspect, who was later arrested

21-year-old Zack Tahhan, who is originally from Syria, told a crowd of reporters in an impromptu press conference that he spotted alleged subway shooter Frank R. James walking down the street and notified police of his presence, 6 ABC reports.

Earlier in the day, James himself tipped police off that he was inside a McDonald’s, and told authorities to come get him, Associated Press reports. He was already gone when officers arrived at the restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood, but was spotted on a nearby street corner soon after.

Tahhan explained he saw the man walking with a bag, and then “he put the bag in the street.”

“People was walking behind him. I told them, ‘Guys, keep far from him. Please, this guy is going to do something.’ These people think that I am crazy. Nobody tries to believe me. I told them, ‘Guys, trust me, this is the guy.’ And I see the police walking from over there. I told the police, ‘This is the guy, he did the problem in Brooklyn, this guy, catch him, guys, catch him.’ And they catch him, thank God, we catch him.”

After Tahhan flagged police down, James was apprehended, handcuffed, and placed into a squad car, per 6ABC.

New Yorkers had been on edge ever since police launched a manhunt earlier this week to catch James, who allegedly fled the scene after firing 33 rounds at commuters in a Brooklyn subway during rush hour Tuesday, Insider reports. The mayhem left 10 people struck by gunfire, with more than a dozen others wounded.

Tahhan said the shooting had left him terrified the past few days, impacting his ability to get sleep.

“I cannot breathe, I cannot sleep too…I want to try to work, I cannot because this guy, he put me in trouble when he…maybe (the victims) have kids, maybe have family,” Tahhan was quoted as saying in a Twitter video captured by Gothamist reporter Jake Offenhartz. After his speech, Tahhan waved to the applauding crowd from inside a police car as it drove off.

In another video interview, posted by Samantha Zirkin, Tahhan explained he saw the man when he was in the middle of installing a security camera for a store.

“I thought, ‘Oh sh*t this guy, let me call the police.’ So I call them and we catch him,” he said. 

People were heaping praise on Tahhan all over social media Wednesday, and rightfully so.

After James was finally spotted, four police cars rushed around the corner, with multiple officers emerging from their vehicles to arrest him, finally bringing the perpetrator to justice.

About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'