What Is Known About Attacks Against Homeless People In New York And Washington

They ask for help to find a murderer of homeless people in New York 3:04

(WABNEWS) — Homeless people in New York City and the US capital Washington are on high alert after five shootings of homeless men in the past two weeks.

The shootings took place between March 3 and 12 and left two men dead, the New York Police Department and the Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) said in a joint statement. Each of the shootings occurred during the overnight hours and targeted homeless men, authorities said.

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Three of the shootings occurred earlier this month in Washington, followed by two more in New York on Saturday.

Authorities say the shots were fired by a single suspect who is now the subject of a manhunt.

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department released this photo of a man suspected of shooting five homeless men in Washington and New York City.

Here’s what we know about the shootings:

The shootings occurred after midnight

The first shooting took place in Washington, around 4 a.m. March 3 in the 1100 block of New York Avenue Northeast, the MPD said in a statement Sunday. Deputies responded to a gunshot call and found a man apparently suffering from gunshot wounds. He was treated at a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening to him, according to the statement.

The second shooting was reported around 1:21 a.m. on March 8 in the 1700 block of H Street Northeast, MPD said. Agents found another man apparently suffering from gunshot wounds and took him to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Then, around 2:54 a.m. on March 9, a fire was noticed by an MPD member in the 400 block of New York Avenue Northeast and the remains of a man were discovered after extinguishing the flames. The cause of death was determined to be multiple stab and gunshot wounds, police said.

The fourth and fifth shootings occurred in New York City early Saturday, March 12, when the suspect opened fire on two apparently homeless people sleeping rough, killing one and wounding the other, the NYPD said. .

The shootings occurred within 90 minutes of each other in Lower Manhattan and were caught on surveillance cameras, the department said. The NYPD described what the videos showed, but did not release them to WABNEWS.

A video shows a man who appeared to be homeless sleeping near the corner of King Street and Varick when an unknown suspect approached and shot him in the forearm, New York Police Deputy Chief Henry Sautner said during a news conference. press on Saturday. The man woke up and shouted: “What are you doing?” to the shooter, who then ran away, Sautner added.

Police were called to the scene around 4:30 am and the 38-year-old victim was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Additionally, investigators learned of a second shooting outside 148 Lafayette Street on Saturday. There, officers found a man in a sleeping bag with gunshot wounds to the head and neck, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Sautner said. Surveillance video shows a suspect approaching the sleeping victim around 6 a.m. and discharging a weapon, Sautner said.

‘Urgent’ pursuit in progress

The New York Police Department and the New York Police Department cited similar circumstances and characteristics linking the attacks, though they did not release specific details.

Speaking to Bloomberg on Monday, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said a ballistics test helped law enforcement identify the shootings.

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department released this photo of a man suspected of shooting five homeless people between March 3 and March 12.

On Monday, officials released new images of the suspect and asked the public to provide any information they can to help identify and locate him.

Meanwhile, Bowser asked unsheltered residents in New York and Washington to seek shelter.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell joined Bowser at a news conference in Washington on Monday.

“Somebody knows this person. We’re asking the public to find her,” Adams said. “This person is carrying out a premeditated attack of shooting innocent people.”

“It is urgent to get this individual off our streets before he harms or kills another individual. The rise in gun violence has shaken us all and it is particularly horrifying to know that someone is out there deliberately harming an already vulnerable population.” the mayors said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The NYPD and Metropolitan Police are working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the investigation and have offered a combined $55,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

New York and Washington authorities work to protect the vulnerable population

In their joint statement, both mayors said there is a “cold-blooded killer on the loose.”

The New York Police Department has ordered its members to do welfare checks on people who appear to be homeless, according to a memo obtained by WABNEWS sent on Sunday. Police were instructed to show people a flyer with a photo of a man police want to speak to in connection with the shootings.

“Our homeless population is one of the most vulnerable and an individual preying on them in their sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime,” Sewell said. “We will use every tool, every technique and every partner to bring the killer to justice.”

“We know this is a scary situation,” Bowser said at the Monday night news conference. “We know that our unsheltered residents already face many dangers on a daily basis and it is inconceivable that anyone would target this vulnerable population.”

WABNEWS’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Liam Reilly, Susannah Cullinane and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.

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