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Who is Zack Tahhan, the Syrian Immigrant Who Helped Arrest the Brooklyn Shooting Suspect?

Zack Tahhan in an impromptu press conference after Wednesday’s events. Photo: Getty

Zack Tahhan, a Syrian immigrant, is being celebrated as a hero in New York after he helped with the arrest of Frank James, the alleged gunman behind Tuesday’s Brooklyn subway station shooting. Tahhan is a 21-year-old Muslim resident who has been living in the US for five years and currently works as a security camera technician at a shop in Manhattan’s East Village. It was while working that Tahhan noticed a man matching James’ police photos on the security camera and tipped the officials about the 62-year-old shooter who injured more than 20 people with a smoke bomb and later by gun.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is the guy, we need to get him’,” Tahhan said in an impromptu press conference to media and onlookers, explaining how he ran out into the street to warn passers-by and alert the police officers nearby within the span of 10 minutes. “He was walking down the street. I see the car of the police, I said, ‘Yo, this is the guy.’ We catch him, thank God,” he said. “He had a bag and was walking on the sidewalk. He put the bag on the street. I saw a lot of people come behind him. I said to the people, ‘Please guys, please keep some space, this guy is going to do something. People think I am crazy, like maybe I am on drugs. But I’m not. I’m fasting.”

Social media has since erupted with praise for Tahhan, particularly noting how an Arab immigrant has aided with the apprehension of a mass shooting suspect. “Thank you for your bravery today, Zack. All of New York is grateful,” tweeted New York Attorney General, Letitia James, while other tweets spread the word about the young man and his skills, including him being a polyglot who speaks five languages.

Below, see some of the reactions to Zack Tahhan’s actions.

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