Police arrested a suspected gunman in Washington, D.C., who has been stalking homeless men asleep on the streets of New York City and Washington, killing at least two people and wounding three others over two weeks, the Associated Press reports. Police in the two cities had released multiple surveillance photographs, including a close-up snapshot clearly showing the man’s face, and urged people who might know him to come forward. Washington D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, speaking together at a news conference Monday, urged anyone living on the streets to go to city shelters where they might be safer. Investigators acknowledged that they knew little about the suspected killer or his motive. In Washington, city outreach workers were passing out flyers among the homeless population, urging people to “be vigilant” and featuring multiple pictures of the suspect.
Investigators in the two cities began to suspect a link between the shootings on Sunday after a D.C. homicide captain — a former resident of New York City — saw surveillance photos that had been released Saturday night by the New York Police Department while scrolling through social media. The man in those photos looked similar to the one being sought by his own department. D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee credited the quick coordination between departments, saying that without that officer making the connection, “It could have been months,” before the link between the attacks was discovered. The earliest known shooting happened at around 4 a.m. on March 3 in Washington D.C., when a man was shot and wounded in the city’s Northeast section. A second man was wounded on March 8, just before 1:30 a.m. At 3 a.m. the next day, police and firefighters found a dead man inside a burning tent. He was initially thought to have suffered fatal burns, but an autopsy revealed that the man had died of multiple stab and gunshot wounds. At 4:30 a.m. Saturday, a 38-year-old man sleeping on the street in Manhattan not far from the entrance to the Holland Tunnel was shot in his right arm as he slept. About 90 minutes later, the gunman fatally shot a man on Lafayette Street in SoHo.