The suspect, who police described as "emotionally disturbed," was seen on video attacking Ryan Carson and his girlfriend on the sidewalk after attending a wedding.
The NYPD is on the hunt for a man who fatally stabbed a social justice advocate in New York City earlier this week.
32-year-old Ryan Carson and his girlfriend were heading home from a wedding around 4am on Monday morning when they were the victims of a seemingly unprovoked attack.
Surveillance footage of the incident shared by PIX11 and NBC New York shows the pair sitting on a bus bench together as a man walks past them. The two get up and start to head in the same direction, before the suspect appears to kick over a scooter and shout at the pair, "What are you looking at?"
Carson is then seen getting between the man and his girlfriend, pushing him away before tripping over the bench. PIX11 stopped the video at that point, before Carson was reportedly stabbed in the chest multiple times. After the suspect ran off, Carson's girlfriend -- who was reportedly spit on and kicked by the assailant -- called 911; he was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital.
On Tuesday night, the NYPD released a photo of the man they believe is responsible for Carson's death. Sharing the picture to X, the man is seen wearing a black Champion sweatshirt; the NYPD said he "stabbed the victim multiple times, causing his demise" and is wanted for murder.
Authorities also described the suspect as appearing "emotionally disturbed," per PIX11.
WANTED FOR MURDER: On 10/2/23 @ 3:50 AM, at Malcolm X Blvd & Lafayette Ave in the confines of the 81st Precinct, the above individual stabbed the victim multiple times, causing his demise. Any info, please call the @NYPDTips at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/bjjxI7XTZA
Carson was known for his environmental advocacy with the New York Public Interest Research Group, as well as his work on drug overdose prevention. He was also a poet.
"Ryan Carson turned his passion into purpose. He advocated tirelessly for others, and his giving spirit was a buoy to all," NYC Mayor Eric Adams shared in a statement to X. "His murder is unthinkable, and the NYPD won't rest until we bring him to justice. I'm praying for all who knew and loved Ryan."
In a statement, New York Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Carson "threw himself into everything he did with passion and humanity." He added, "I worked with him on a big townhall he hosted with NYPIRG and on the Inflation Reduction Act. A rising talent and an extraordinary activist. May his memory and work inspire us."
"Ryan was a beloved staffer, colleague and friend, and a creative, talented, relentless and upbeat advocate for students and the environment. His engaging personality, hearty laugh and wide-ranging intelligence were keys to his success in advancing the causes he deeply cared about in his work and personal life," shared NYPIRG. "Ryan was a consummate team player who would happily undertake the basic 'blocking and tackling' tasks necessary to advance and win on an issue, but also shined in the spotlight as a leader, campaign manager and spokesperson."
Reading many beautiful tributes to Ryan Carson today as I reflect on this shocking, horrific news of his death.
Ryan's compassion was evident in everything he did. My fondest memory is of a night out we spent together with friends in Albany last year.
New York Senator Julia Salazar aslo reacted to the "shocking, horrific news of his death" in a post shared to X.
"Ryan's compassion was evident in everything he did. My fondest memory is of a night out we spent together with friends in Albany last year. We all stayed up late in conversation, into the early morning, and Ryan walked me to my apartment at the time to make sure I was safe. A simple gesture that came to mind when I learned of the unbelievable circumstances of his death," she wrote. "I learned a lot from Ryan in a short time. I'm better for having known him, as so many of us are. Let us dedicate ourselves to continuing his life's work, cut short far too soon: to harm reduction; to humane drug policy; to creating a more caring society for all of us."
According to the New York Post, Carson's girlfriend shared a screenshot to X of a note she found written on his phone reading, "When you get right down to it, all I want is to love Claudia more than she's ever been loved, which is frankly all she's ever deserved."
She captioned the post, "I found this note in Ryan's phone. He did, he did, he did," before making her account private.