A suspect was arrested on Tuesday in connection with shootings of five homeless men, including two who died from their injuries, in Washington, D.C. and New York City over the last two weeks, the mayors of both cities said in a joint statement.
The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington arrested the suspect early on Tuesday and were interviewing the man, it said on Twitter. The department did not identify the suspect.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a joint statement with Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser that the “cold-blooded killer” targeted homeless people with no regard to life.
“We know that this experience has been especially scary for our residents experiencing homelessness,” Bowser said.
Authorities had been searching for a lone gunman whom they said was linked by forensic evidence to the shooting of five homeless men in the two cities.
The shootings began on March 3, when Washington police were alerted to sounds of gunshots on New York Avenue at about 4 a.m. The victim was taken to hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
On March 8, police in that city found another homeless man suffering from gunshot wounds. He too was transported to a hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The following day, police spotted a tent fire on New York Avenue and found a deceased homeless man inside. Further investigation determined that he had suffered multiple stab and gunshot wounds.
Three days later, a 38-year-old man was shot in the arm in New York City’s lower Manhattan.
A short time later, police responded to an emergency call about a man suffering from gunshot wounds to the head and neck, and found the victim dead inside a sleeping bag on Lafayette Street.
The violence comes amid a rise in violent crime in both cities and a spate of seemingly random attacks in New York City.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Brendan O’Brien; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Berkrot)
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