NEW YORK - A suspect was taken into custody Tuesday in connection with several attacks and deadly shootings on homeless people in New York City and Washington, D.C., police said.
"Early this AM, law enforcement arrested the suspect in Washington, DC. He is currently being interviewed at our Homicide Branch. Additional information will be forthcoming. Thanks to the community for all your tips," the Metropolitan Police Department wrote via Twitter.
The arrest took place in the southeast section of D.C. The suspect, Gerald Brevard, 30, was arrested in Washington on murder, assault, and other charges. Brevard, who lives in the Washington area, has not been charged in the New York attacks.
NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said police are working with the Manhattan district attorney's office to build a case against Brevard before arresting and charging him with the shootings in Manhattan.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and New York City Mayor Eric Adams credited the swift coordination between the two police departments and federal agents. ATF agents took Brevard into custody before handing him over to the MPD, according to the ATF's Twitter feed.
"We said that the work to remove this man from our streets was urgent, and our communities responded," Bowser said in a joint statement with Adams on Tuesday. "We know that this experience has been especially scary for our residents experiencing homelessness. Our work continues to end homelessness and ensure all residents have access to safe and affordable housing."
Early Saturday morning, the gunman shot a homeless man who was sleeping near King Street and Varick Street in Tribeca, the NYPD said. His injuries were minor. About 30 minutes later, the gunman shot and killed a sleeping homeless man near Lafayette Street and Howard Street in Soho. The victim was hit in his head and neck, police said.
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The NYPD initially believed that the death of a homeless man found with a wound to his right leg in Tribeca on Sunday evening was related to the serial killer but sources told FOX 5 News that investigators were leaning towards a drug overdose as a cause of death. Drug paraphernalia was found at the scene.
The NYPD released images of the man wanted in the shootings. He was wearing all black and appeared to have a blue surgical glove on the hand he used to fire the gun.
"The case is a clear and horrific intentional act of taking the life of someone, it appears, because he was homeless," Adams said at a news conference over the weekend. "Two individuals were shot while sleeping on the streets, not committing a crime but sleeping on the streets."
Authorities said ballistics and other evidence linked the shootings in the two cities. Two of the victims in D.C. survived while a third victim died. That victim was found dead inside a tent fire on March 9. He had been shot and stabbed to death before the fire, authorities said.
"Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable and an individual praying on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime," New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell had said over the weekend. "We will use every tool, every technique and every partner to bring the killer to justice."
With The Associated Press.