He was identified as 30-year-old Gerald Brevard.
update: 3/15/2022 7:03 AM pst
Police in Washington DC have arrested the man they believe shot five homeless men, killing two.
In a joint investigation with NYPD, several closeup photos and videos of the suspect were posted on social media, and on Tuesday morning, DC police said they had him in custody.
"Early this AM, law enforcement arrested the suspect in Washington, DC. He is currently being interviewed at our Homicide Branch," the department tweeted. "Additional information will be forthcoming. Thanks to the community for all your tips."
A senior law enforcement official identified him to NBC News as 30-year-old Gerald Brevard.
They said he has a criminal history, including an alleged assault on a woman in Virginia.
Investigators did not say what led them to him; the reward money offered across all agencies hunting for him totaled $70k.
MORE PHOTOS of the wanted suspect. Tipsters are eligible for a reward of up to $55,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction.@NYPDnews @ATFWashington https://t.co/ENZRG4fzV7 pic.twitter.com/niCz74Nb0V— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) March 14, 2022 @DCPoliceDept
original story: 3/14/2022 8:51 AM pst
A chilling video has captured a suspect executing a homeless man in his sleeping bag — and it was not his first victim, according to police.
The horrifying footage shows the killer shooting the victim point blank in the head as he slept in a doorway on Saturday morning; investigators now believe the shooter is responsible for a swathe of murders and attempted murders of homeless people across two states.
At around 4:30 AM Saturday, police said another 38-year-old homeless man was shot in the arm while he slept near the corner of King St. and Varick.
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"The victim woke up … screaming: 'What are you doing?'," NYPD Deputy Chief Hank Saunter told a press conference, adding the perpetrator then fled the scene. But he did not flee very far, nor was he unnerved of his grim mission.
"Fast forward today to about 4:30 PM, police responded to a 911 call for an aided individual, outside of 149 Lafayette Street. Upon arrival, officers observed an unconscious and unresponsive unidentified male in a sleeping bag," the Deputy Chief said. "The unidentified male had suffered a gunshot wound to the head and neck. EMS pronounced him dead on the scene."
Video surveillance shows the second victim had been shot at 6 AM, and had lain there for almost 11 hours before someone took notice.
The two shootings happened less than a mile apart.
The horrifying footage shows the masked suspect stand over the sleeping victim, prodding him with his foot and looking around to see if anyone is watching, before pulling out a gun and firing several shots point blank.
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"We're talking about two individuals who are homeless, the most vulnerable population in the city right now," Deputy Chief Saunter said.
The first victim was Hispanic, the second was Black; investigators do not believe race was a motive.
Mayor Eric Adams said the two victims were targeted simply because they were homeless; "not committing a crime — but sleeping on the streets."
"I'm here today to send a very clear message: that all New Yorkers matter," he said.
"Watching the video, watching an individual intentionally walk up to innocent people that are dealing with the challenges of homelessness – and it's quite possible that one of our citizens is still alive merely because he woke up."
Watch as @NYCMayor and NYPD Executives provide information regarding two shootings that took place this morning in Lower Manhattan. https://t.co/vn7bm9ntgm— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 13, 2022 @NYPDnews
"A total abandonment betrayal of trust," he added. "The video is chilling. To see a cold-blooded act of murder. Homelessness turning into a homicide."
But an even more chilling twist was yet to come: on Monday morning NYPD revealed they believed the suspect was also responsible for three more shootings of homeless people in Washington DC — one of them fatal.
On March 3 at 4 AM and March 8 at 1:21 AM, DC police said two more men were shot, but both survived.
On March 9, police responding to a tent fire found the body of a homeless man inside. An autopsy revealed he had been stabbed and shot to death.
NYPD and Washington, DC, MPD Announce Investigation in to Several Shooting Incidents — Homeless Victims Targeted, Suspect Sought by Police https://t.co/kwVzekSv3G pic.twitter.com/g0x7s6Fgnx— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 14, 2022 @NYPDnews
"Given the similarity in the modus operandi of the perpetrator, common circumstances involved in each shooting, the circumstances of the victims, and information from ATF's National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, we will move forward jointly investigating these homicides and shootings," they said.
"Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable and an individual preying on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime," Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said in the release.
Police are also investigating whether other homeless people were also targeted in attacks that went unreported.
NYPD are offering a $10k reward for information leading to a conviction.
"The demonization of homeless people is the wrong mindset," Mayor Adams said at the conference. "There by the grace of God goes I."
"These are our brothers and sisters who have fell on hard times. We have an obligation to provide them with the services they deserve."