A massive manhunt is underway on the east coast for a serial killer who has targeted homeless people.
At least five shootings are being investigated in Washington D.C. and New York City, police in both cities said in a joint statement. Two homicides were part of the shooting — in each case the victims were homeless.
Around 3 a.m., March 3, police in Washington D.C. responded to a shooting on New York Avenue NE for a reported shooting. A victim was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Then, around 1:20 on March 8, police in D.C. responded to a shooting on H Street. That victim, too, had non-life-threatening injuries.
Around 3 a.m. on March 9, a police officer saw a fire in a tent on New York Avenue. First responders put out the fire and then found the remains of a man. The name of the victim has not been released. The victim had been stabbed and shot.
Around 4:30 a.m. on March 12 in New York City police responded to a man shot in the arm while sleeping on King Street near Varick Street.
Then, around 5 p.m. on March 12, New York police found a man with gunshot wounds to the head and next. That unnamed victim died from his injuries.
Police said there were similarities in the shootings but declined to say how they determined the shootings were linked.
“Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable and an individual praying on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime,” NYC Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said. “We will use every tool, every technique and every partner to bring the killer to justice.”
“From the first incident, the Metropolitan Police has spared no resource in our efforts to identify the suspect behind these cowardly acts,” D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee said. “We are committed to sharing every investigative path, clue and piece of evidence with our law enforcement partners to bring this investigation to a swift conclusion and the individual behind these vicious crimes to justice.”