Police in New York City and Washington, D.C., are on the hunt for a serial shooter who has been attacking homeless men in both cities, murdering two and wounding three others so far.
Authorities said the lone gunman is a "cold-blooded killer" who has targeted sleeping homeless men in a series of shootings. New York Mayor Eric Adams and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said they were coordinating with federal authorities to stop the killer in a joint statement released late Sunday night.
"The work to get this individual off our streets before he hurts or murders another individual is urgent," the mayors said.
“As our law enforcement agencies work quickly with federal partners to locate the suspect, we are also calling on unsheltered residents to seek shelter. Again, it is heartbreaking and tragic to know that in addition to all the dangers that unsheltered residents face, we now have a cold-blooded killer on the loose, but we are certain that we will get the suspect off the street and into police custody.”
The series of attacks began on March 3, when the suspect shot and wounded a male victim on the 1100 block of New York Avenue in the nation's capital, the New York Post reported.
A second victim was shot five days later on the 1700 block of H Street, authorities said. These first two victims sustained non-life threatening injuries.
But a third victim was fatally stabbed and shot last Wednesday, according to police. The victim's body was discovered on the 400 block of New York Avenue.
At some point before Saturday morning, the suspect traveled to New York, where he attacked two more people with the same M.O., authorities said.
The first New York victim was a 38-year-old homeless man who was shot and wounded as he slept on King Street in Soho. The victim was hospitalized in stable condition, according to the Post.
About one hour later, the suspect was caught on camera fatally shooting a homeless man as he slept in a sleeping bag about 15 blocks outside of 148 Lafayette Street.
Disturbing video shows the suspect kick the sleeping man several times, check to see if anyone is watching, and then take out a firearm and shoot the man in the head.
Exclusive video of suspect wanted in shooting death of homeless man www.youtube.com
Ballistics found at the two crime scenes in Soho matched shell casings found in Washington, D.C., the New York Post reported.
NYPD has issued new patrol guidance after the attacks, according to the Post. Officers have been directed to "proactively engage with apparently homeless individuals," conduct wellness checks, and offer shelter services.
Police were also instructed to warn people about the shooter and show them wanted posters of the suspected gunman.
“Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable and an individual preying on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement Sunday night.
“We will use every tool, every technique and every partner to bring the killer to justice,” Sewell said.