suspect-in-custody-in-series-of-attacks-on-homeless-men-in-nyc-and-dc.,-police-say

A person who authorities say may be linked to a series of shootings  including two slayings — of homeless men in Washington, D.C., and New York City is in custody, according to D.C. police.

The unidentified man was captured early Tuesday, Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Capt. Darren Haskis said.

Details on how officers found the person and the charges against him were not immediately available.

“He is currently being interviewed at our Homicide Branch,” the police department said in a tweet. “Additional information will be forthcoming. Thanks to the community for all your tips.”

The New York City Police Department also confirmed the news, saying in a tweet that “the suspect in 5 shooting incidents, including 2 homicides, in NY and Washington DC has been apprehended.” The department thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI for their assistance.

Five homeless men have been shot in the two cities since March 3, including a fatal shooting and stabbing of a man Wednesday in the capital and a deadly shooting of a second person Saturday in Manhattan, authorities said.

The attacks prompted an intense search, with officials in both cities pleading with the public to help them get the man off the streets. Authorities had offered up to a $70,000 reward for information that led to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.

The first three attacks happened in Washington, D.C.: a 4 a.m. shooting on March 3 in which the victim survived, a 1:21 a.m. shooting Tuesday in which the victim survived, and the Wednesday death discovered when a Metropolitan Police Department officer spotted a tent fire, according to the joint statement.

The latest attacks occurred less than two hours apart Saturday in New York City, authorities said. The first shooting occurred about 4:30 a.m., when a 38-year-old man was shot while sleeping and woke up shouting, “What are you doing?” police said at a news conference.

The second shooting, the one that was fatal, is believed to have happened around 6 a.m., according to police. But they weren’t notified that a dead man was in a sleeping bag with wounds to his head and his neck until about 11 hours later. The two shootings Saturday occurred about a mile apart, police said.

None of the victims’ identities were available.

In a joint statement Sunday, New York and Washington police announced they suspect the shootings of the five homeless men are connected.

“Given the similarity in the modus operandi of the perpetrator, common circumstances involved in each shooting, the circumstances of the victims, and information from ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), we will move forward jointly investigating these homicides and shootings,” they said.

The shooter carries a semiautomatic handgun, police said.

Officials from the two cities held a joint news conference Monday evening in which they urged their homeless residents to seek shelter.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Saturday in a media briefing that one of the victims is lucky to be alive.

“It’s quite possible that one of our citizens is still alive merely because he woke up,” he said. “Two individuals were shot while sleeping on the streets. Not committing a crime, but sleeping on the streets.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Antonio Planas

Antonio Planas is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. 

Jonathan Dienst is a reporter for WNBC-TV in New York, leading its investigative reporting team and covering justice and law enforcement issues.

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