New York police are searching for a suspect who they say stabbed three men experiencing homelessness while they slept, killing one of them.
The department released photos of the suspect in the three separate attacks in different Manhattan precincts and asked for the public’s help identifying the man.
A 34-year-old man died in one of the stabbings, officials said. Police said they identified the man who was fatally stabbed, but declined to release his name at a Wednesday news conference.
“These are senseless acts on defenseless people experiencing homelessness,” New York City Police Department Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said at the news conference.
Meanwhile, gun violence in the city also made national headlines as police reported five homicides within hours on Tuesday night into Wednesday.
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First incident: The first stabbing took place on July 5 when a 34-year-old man lying on a bench said he awoke to pain in his stomach, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. The man then crossed the street, and a passerby called 911.
The man was taken to the hospital, where he died of a stab wound, Essig said.
Surveillance video showed a suspect in a black hoodie picking up the victim’s bike, riding it around the block, then returning to stab the man. The suspect also took the victim’s backpack, which was recovered nearby, Essig said.
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Second incident: Friday, surveillance video showed a suspect sitting on a bench and staring at a sleeping 59-year-old man for about 30 minutes, Essig said. The suspect then put on a COVID-19 mask, walked over to the man, and stabbed him one time before walking away. The victim reported the stabbing to police on Sunday after trying to self-treat his injury.
Third incident: A third victim was stabbed Monday at a Manhattan playground, where he was lying on the ground of a basketball court. The victim said he felt a punch to his side and chased the attacker but was “unable to pursue due to his wounds,” Essig said.
Who is the suspect?
Police described the suspect as a Black man wearing a black sweatshirt, black pants, neon sneakers and a gray backpack.
“He is armed and dangerous,” Essig said.
NYPD Chief Kenneth Corey said photos of the suspect were distributed to all officers in the department, who have been showing the photos to people experiencing homelessness in the area.
Was a weapon found?
The suspect is believed to have used a large kitchen knife, Essig said. Police have not recovered a weapon.
Has this happened before?
In March, a man was arrested after police said he carried out a string of shootings of men experiencing homelessness in Washington, D.C., and New York. Gerald Brevard, 30, was accused of shooting three men in Washington, including one fatally, before traveling to New York to shoot two men, including one fatally.
Rash of NYC gun violence also reported: 5 fatal shootings within hours
The search for a suspect in the stabbings is unfolding as police also reported a rash of gun violence.
Five men were killed in separate shootings Tuesday night into Wednesday, according to the NYPD. The first deadly shooting of the night was reported around 9:13 p.m. Tuesday in the Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn; the last incident occurred just after 1 a.m. Wednesday in the Fordham Heights neighborhood in the Bronx.
Police also responded to fatal shootings in the neighborhoods of Ocean Hill and Cypress Hills in Brooklyn and Wakefield in the Bronx.
The shootings left five victims dead, according to an emailed statement.
No arrests have been made in connection to any of the shootings, and police said motives remained unclear as of Wednesday afternoon.
Source by rssfeeds.usatoday.com