DC Cops Nab Suspect Wanted for Shooting Homeless Men

Man is in custody in Washington after attacks there, in NYC that left 2 dead, 3 injured
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2022 6:50 AM CDT
Updated Mar 15, 2022 6:16 AM CDT
Cops in DC, NYC Seek Suspect in Shootings of Homeless Men
Still images of the suspect from video.   (NYPD, via New York Times)

Update: A man is in custody in connection with a series of shootings of homeless men in New York City and Washington, DC. The district's Metropolitan Police Department tweeted that the man was arrested early Tuesday in Washington and was being interrogated by homicide investigators. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser says that a ballistics match helped sync up all five shootings, two of them fatal, reports Bloomberg, via CNN. Before the suspect's arrest, Bowser asked those without shelter in the two cities to try to find a safe place to stay. Our original story from Monday follows:

The NYPD and the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police have teamed up to track down a person they believe is behind a series of shootings targeting the homeless population. Two people have died and three have been injured so far in the incidents that stretch over a nearly two-week span in New York City and Washington, DC, and investigators are now also looking into another homeless man's death that took place Sunday, reports the New York Times. A timeline listed in an MPD statement notes the shootings started on March 3, when a homeless man was shot in the early morning hours in DC, suffering non-life-threatening injuries. That Washington shooting was followed by another on March 8, with that man also expected to live.

On March 9, however, police were called to the scene of a tent fire, and after they put it out, they found the remains of a homeless man inside who'd been stabbed and shot. Meanwhile, in New York, two shootings on March 12 left another homeless man dead and one suffering from a gunshot wound to the arm. Due to "the similarity in the modus operandi of the perpetrator, common circumstances involved in each shooting, circumstances of the victims, and recovered evidence," the two police departments believe the shootings are related and will be working in tandem with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to try to nab the suspect. The Times notes that police are also investigating whether the death of yet another homeless man, found Sunday evening in New York at the same time a vigil was happening for the two other homeless men shot there, is linked.

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"Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable, and an individual [preying] on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime," says New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, per the release. At a news conference Saturday night, NYC Mayor Eric Adams called the shootings a "chilling" act of "cold-blooded murder," also pointing out how "horrific" it was to attack the victims as they slept, per Gothamist. The NYPD and Crime Stoppers are offering a combined reward of $10,000 contingent on someone's arrest, indictment, and conviction in the case, while the ATF is offering $20,000, and the MPD up to $25,000, reports NPR. Anyone with information can call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip on the Crime Stoppers website or Twitter account. (More homeless stories.)

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