A masked gunman attacked five times in nine days, shooting homeless people as they slept on the streets of New York and Washington, DC.
Police say the gunman’s course of action is the same in all cases and the mayors of both cities fear a “cold-blooded murderer” is on the loose.
Two of the people affected died. The tent of one of them was set on fire after the resident was stabbed and shot.
A reward is now being offered for capturing the killer.
The Washington Metropolitan Police Department reported that one man was shot on March 3 and another on March 8 — both in the middle of the night. They were injured but survived.
Just a day later, emergency services responded to a fire in a tent in the city, where they found a man who had been shot and stabbed to death.
In New York, a masked suspect first shot a man sleeping on a street in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood in the early hours of the morning.
“The victim, who was shot in the arm, woke up and yelled ‘what are you doing?’ and the suspect fled,” New York Police Department Chief Hank Sautner told a news conference.
About an hour later, according to police, that same person shot and killed another man who was also sleeping in Soho.
“We now have a cold-blooded killer on the loose,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and New York Mayor Eric Adams said in a joint statement.
Adams said that watching security camera footage of the fatal Manhattan shooting was “creepy”.
“The case is a clear and horrible intentional act of taking someone’s life, it seems, because that person was homeless,” he added.
Washington police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the shooter’s arrest and New York police are offering a $10,000 reward.
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also joined the investigation.
New York police are investigating the death of another homeless man in Manhattan on Sunday night. The cause has not been determined and it is still unclear whether the case is linked to the series of shootings.
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