US: Homeless murder suspect arrested in Washington, New York

Landform on the east coast of America. As the hunt for a man accused of a series of nighttime attacks on sleeping homeless people began in New York and Washington, DC, a suspect was arrested in the US federal capital on Tuesday. “He is currently being interrogated,” the police said.

According to the American media, which relies on anonymous police sources, this is Gerald Brevard III, a 30-year-old man suffering from mental disorders and having several frauds and attacks in his file. “He suffered from mental illness for a long time and was institutionalized several times,” his father, Gerald Brevard Jr., told The Daily Beast. But I never thought he would become violent. »

Earlier, law enforcement released footage of the suspect, offering a reward of several thousand dollars. “A ruthless killer is on the loose, but we are going to arrest him and put him in jail,” the mayors of the two Democratic cities said in a joint statement.

According to authorities, he is responsible for at least five attacks carried out “in cold blood” with “the same method” against men who were sleeping on the street. To prevent him from becoming other victims, investigators contacted their colleagues across the country, said New York Police Chief Kichent Sewell. The homeless are “already fighting for survival on a daily basis,” she said, promising to “quickly” arrest her executioner.

Shots and daggers

The first two attacks took place on March 3 and 8 in the northeast of the American capital. The victims who were shot survived. On Wednesday, September 9, emergency services intervened, still in Washington, because a homeless man’s tent caught fire. Inside, they found the body of a dead man. An autopsy showed that he died from multiple gunshot and stab wounds.

According to investigators, the killer then went to New York, about 400 km to the north. Early Saturday morning, a 38-year-old man was found shot dead but alive in Lower Manhattan. In the late afternoon, police found another man in the same area, this time dead, with head and neck injuries. According to CCTV footage, he was killed around 6 am.

These images show a man dressed in black with a hooded head and blue-gloved hands. He walks around the man wrapped in the yellow sleeping bag, kicks him lightly to make sure he’s asleep, looks around before firing. It was by seeing these images that one of his investigators made a connection between the two series of attacks, which he says is a “huge” step forward, according to Robert Conti, Washington’s police chief.

Thousands of people sleep on the streets of New York every night, and in February the Democratic mayor announced a plan to oust those who take up residence in the giant underground subway network. Eric Adams responded to a series of high-profile crimes, including the death of a woman pushed onto a subway track by a mentally ill homeless man.

Homeless associations hostile to the project have blamed it for the recent tragedies. The homeless are “much more likely to be the victims of crime than their perpetrators”, responding to the Coalition for the Homeless in particular by urging the mayor to “recognize that his policies put them in danger.” The latter refused to enter into controversy, limiting himself to stating that “there is nothing worthy about sleeping on subway platforms.”

In Washington, the number of homeless people has also increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and associations blame the authorities for dismantling several camps, sometimes set up near the White House, the presidential residence. Met by an AFP at a shelter near Congress, Troy, a 53-year-old African American who has lived on the street for five years, said he was affected by this wave of crimes but not surprised: “It hurts when it’s close to you. but “so many bad things happen to the homeless…”

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