Police have arrested the man they suspect behind a violet spree against homeless people that left 2 dead and 3 injured in two cities.
On March 3rd, a homeless man was shot and wounded in Washington D.C. Five days later, another. The next morning, police and firefighters found a burning tent, but the body inside had not died of the burns. Instead, autopsy revealed that he’d been shot and stabbed repeatedly.
March 12th, a man sleeping on the street in Manhattan was shot in his right arm. Less than two hours later, the gunman shot and killed another man sleeping on the street, this one in SoHo.
New York police knew, from ATM surveillance footage, that those two attacks had been the same gunman. They released those pictures on social media hoping for tips. They were seen by a homicide captain in Washington, who realized they matched ATM footage of their own gunman.
Only three days after making the link, Washington police have arrested Gerald Brevard on suspicion for the three crimes in their jurisdiction. Brevard, 30, was not unknown to them. His criminal history includes assault with a deadly weapon. He plead guilty to assault in 2018 and was found mentally incompetent to stand trial in 2019.
A tip called in after the photos of the killer were aired helped police link him to the matter, and ballistics evidence has shown that all five crimes were committed with the same type of weapon. No gun has been found in Brevard’s possession.
Before the arrest, news had begun to spread of a killer targeting the homeless in both New York City and Washington, and people sleeping on the street were urged to seek out shelter at all costs. One of the killings was only blocks away from a major homeless shelter. Veterans of the streets will also remember 2019, when four homeless men were beaten to death in their sleep, or last year, when four homeless people were stabbed and two killed.