Police have warned a gunman who’s stalked and killed at least two homeless people and wounded three others: “We’re coming for you”.
It comes as a new close-up picture of the suspect at a cash machine was released that clearly shows his face.
The attacks have happened in less than a fortnight in New York and Washington, and on Monday officials urged anyone who recognises the suspect to come forward.
Speaking directly to the suspect at a news conference, Washington police chief Robert J. Contee told him: “Our reach is far and wide, and we’re coming for you.”
Homeless people in New York should seek refuge, said the city’s mayor Eric Adams. He said teams would be out encouraging rough sleepers to go to city-owned shelters.
Flyers showing the suspect are also being handed out in Washington.
Police linked the attacks at the weekend after a Washington homicide captain saw pictures from New York on social media and noted a similarity to their own suspect.
🚨WANTED for SHOOTING: Today, between 4:36 am & 6:00 am, in the confines of the @NYPD1pct and @NYPD5pct, the suspect approached two homeless individuals on the street and shot both of them, killing one individual. NYPD executives will provide an update live at 9:30 PM pic.twitter.com/JwoaWnKrzd
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 13, 2022
Chief Contee said without that link “it could have been months” before the cases were connected.
Forensic evidence has linked the man to all the shootings.
The first-known attack happened about 4am on 3 March when a man was shot and wounded in the northeast of Washington.
Five days later another man was hurt in an early-hours shooting.
Police and firefighters were then called after a dead man was found in a burning tent on 9 March. A post-mortem found he died from multiple knife and gunshot wounds.
The killer then travelled to New York City, say police.
On Saturday, at 4.30am, a 38-year-old sleeping on the street was shot in his arm near the entrance to the Holland tunnel.
The suspect fled after the victim screamed, but just 90 minutes later a man was shot dead on Lafayette Street in Lower Manhattan.
CCTV showed him kicking the man before shooting at point-blank range.
“He looked around. He made sure no one was there. And he intentionally took the life of an innocent person,” New York’s mayor Adams told reporters.