Speed Reads

'Depraved'

New York and D.C. mayors ask for help tracking down gunman killing homeless people in their sleep

The mayors of New York and Washington, D.C., on Monday night asked for public help tracking down a man suspected of killing at least two homeless people and wounding three others over the past two weeks. They released videos and photos of the suspect and boosted the reward for information on the attacks to $70,000. "We are looking for a person who is clearly depraved and is targeting people who are vulnerable," said D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D). 

The first three attacks were in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 8, and 9, all involving men shot while sleeping. The first two attacks were not fatal, but the third man, identified as Morgan Holmes, 54, was found stabbed and shot inside a burned tent. The attacks in New York City were 90 minutes apart on Saturday morning; the first man woke up after being shot in the arm and scared the suspect away, while the second man was found in a sleeping bag Saturday afternoon with gunshots in his head and neck.

A D.C. Metropolitan Police homicide captain who used to live in New York first linked the two shooting sprees while scrolling through social media on Sunday, Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said at Monday night's press conference. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives then linked ballistic evidence from at least one shooting in New York to at least one shooting in D.C. "Our reach is far and wide, and we're coming for you," Contee told the suspect.

But investigators acknowledged that so far they have little information on the suspect, including how he traveled between New York and D.C. or whether he has killed anybody in any other city. New York Mayor Eric Adams (D) said the New York Police Department on city homeless outreach teams would urge unhoused people to seek refuge at city homeless shelters. "Homelessness should not be a homicide," Adams said.