Police in both Washington, D.C. and New York City have partnered with federal authorities to launch a massive manhunt in search of a suspect believed to have carried out five separate shootings of homeless people in the two cities in a matter of days.
According to Fox News, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department and the New York Police Department are working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and other federal agencies to track down the suspect believed to have murdered two homeless people and injured three more between March 3 and March 12.
"The most recent shootings occurred in New York City in the early morning hours of March 12. Both incidents involve homeless men who were sleeping on the street and were shot, without provocation, by a male suspect," NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell and MPD Chief of Police Robert J. Contee III said in a joint statement on Sunday.
The first shooting reportedly took place in D.C. on March 3 when MPD officers received a report of gunshots in the city’s Fifth District. Upon arriving at the scene, the officers found a male homeless victim who had been shot and suffered from non-life-threating injures. The victim was promptly taken to a local hospital and treated for his injuries.
Then, five days later on March 8, another homeless victim in D.C.’s Fifth District was reportedly shot and also suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
On March 9, the MPD responded to a report of a third shooting. Unfortunately, this victim was found deceased by the time the officers arrived on the scene.
"As a result of an autopsy, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was multiple stab and gunshot wounds. The manner of death was ruled a Homicide," the MPD and NYPD shared in a joint statement at the time.
On Saturday, March 12, two more shootings took place – but this time in NYC.
The first occurred around 4:30 AM Saturday morning when the NYPD found a homeless victim with non-life-threatening injuries from a gunshot wound in his arm. Almost 12 hours later, at 5 PM Saturday afternoon, a fifth victim was found deceased from gunshot wounds to his head and neck.
"Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable and an individual preying on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime. We will use every tool, every technique and every partner to bring the killer to justice," Commissioner Sewell said in a joint statement with the MPD.
The shootings are currently believed to be directly connected due to the strong similarities shared between them, and photos of the suspect have since been released to help the NYPD and MPD find the shooter.