Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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As gunman targets homeless, mayors urge all to seek shelter

NEW YORK (AP) – The mayors of New York City and Washington DC appealed to the public for help on Monday in an urgent search for a gunman who has been stalking homeless men asleep on their streets, killing at least two people and wounding three others in less than two weeks.

Police in the two cities released multiple surveillance photographs, including a close-up snapshot clearly showing the man’s face, and urged people who might know him to come forward.

“Our reach is far and wide, and we’re coming for you,” Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J Contee said at a news conference in Washington, speaking directly to the gunman.

Investigators acknowledged, though, that they still knew little about the suspected killer or
his motive.

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, speaking together at the news conference, urged anyone living on the streets to go to city shelters where they might be safer.

“We know that our unsheltered residents already face a lot of daily dangers and it is unconscionable that anybody would target this vulnerable population,” Bowser said.

Adams said New York City police and homeless outreach teams would focus on finding unhoused people in the subways and other locations to urge them to seek refuge at city-owned shelters.

In Washington, city outreach workers were passing out flyers among the homeless population, urging people to “be vigilant” and featuring multiple pictures of the suspect.

People walk by a bulletin posted by NYPD near the place where a homeless person was killed days earlier in lower Manhattan. PHOTO: AP