Police charge man over string of shootings targeting homeless

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Suspect in the death of two men experiencing homelessnessImage source, NYPD

Police have arrested and charged a man following a string of five shootings - all targeting homeless people as they slept.

Gerald Brevard III, 30, allegedly struck five times in nine days in both New York and Washington DC.

Two of the men died. One's tent was set on fire, after he was stabbed and shot.

Two days into a multi-state manhunt, Mr Brevard was taken into custody in Washington DC on Tuesday on first-degree murder and assault charges.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the culprit had targeted people living on the streets with "no regard for life".

Mr Brevard has a long criminal history in the Washington and nearby Virginia regions, and is currently serving a 12-month probation after pleading guilty to assault and battery.

DC's Metropolitan Police Department had posted footage of a man they wanted to speak to, offering a reward up to $70,000 (£53,668) for tips that led to his arrest and conviction.

City mayor Muriel Bowser said the shootings had been "especially scary for our residents experiencing homelessness".

According to detectives, the "modus operandi" had been the same in each case.

Image source, DC Police
Image caption,
DC police released new photos of a suspect hours before announcing his arrest

One man was shot on 3 March and another on 8 March - both in the middle of the night.

They were injured but survived.

Just a day later, emergency services responded to a tent fire in the city where they found a man inside who had been fatally shot and stabbed.

In New York, a masked suspect first shot a man sleeping on a street in Manhattan's Soho neighbourhood in the early hours of the morning.

Around an hour later, according to police, that same person shot and killed another man also sleeping in Soho.

"Homelessness should not be a homicide," Mayors Adams and Bowser had said in a joint statement. "We now have a cold-blooded killer on the loose."