NEW YORK, NY – Police have commenced a manhunt for an individual suspected of being a serial killer who is targeting homeless people in both New York City and Washington, D.C. Authorities currently believe that the same suspect is behind several shootings that have taken place between the two cities’ homeless populations so far.
To date, there have been five shootings – two of them fatal – with the most recent ones taking place in New York City early on March 12, when police say two separate homeless men who were sleeping on the street were victims of an unprovoked shooting by a male suspect.
The shooting spree initially began in Washington, D.C.’s Fifth District at approximately 4 a.m. on March 3, when police responded to a report of gunshots and discovered a homeless man with injuries that were described as “non-life threatening” who was transported to the hospital.
Two more shootings soon occurred in D.C. At approximately 1 a.m. on March 8, a male victim was found with gunshot wounds that were also non-life threatening; he was transported to a local medical facility. A third incident, taking place just after 3 a.m. on March 9, this time led to the death of the homeless victim, who police said had died of gunshot and stabbing wounds.
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This was followed by the two shootings in New York City on March 12; the first occurred at about 4:30 a.m., with the surviving victim having been shot in the arm; the second, which took place around 5 p.m., resulted in the death of a male victim from gunshot wounds to the head and neck, according to NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell.
“Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable and an individual [preying] on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime,” Sewell said in a statement. “We will use every tool, every technique and every partner to bring the killer to justice.”
The Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department and the New York Police Department have partnered with federal authorities, including the ATF; the same suspect is believed to be behind both the NYC and D.C. shootings due to the distinct similarities of the crimes.