Arrest made in rough-sleeper shootings in Washington and New York

Authorities had been searching for gunman they say shot 5 people

Police have arrested a man in connection with the shootings of homeless people in Washington and New York City. Authorities have released images of the suspect but not his name. Reuters

A man has been arrested in Washington over the shooting of several homeless people in the US capital and New York, the DC Police Department said on Tuesday.

“Early this [morning], law enforcement arrested the suspect in Washington, DC. He is currently being interviewed at our Homicide Branch,” the police department said on Twitter.

A law enforcement official identified the suspect to the AP news wire as Gerald Brevard, 30. He lives in the Washington area and has a criminal history that includes an assault arrest.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and New York City Mayor Eric Adams credited the co-ordination between their cities' police departments in apprehending the man.

“We said that the work to remove this man from our streets was urgent, and our communities responded,” Ms Bowser said in a joint statement with Mr Adams on Tuesday.

“We know that this experience has been especially scary for our residents experiencing homelessness. Our work continues to end homelessness and ensure all residents have access to safe and affordable housing.”

Authorities had been searching for a lone gunman whom they said was linked by forensic evidence to the shooting of five homeless men in the two cities.

The first shooting occurred on March 3, when police in Washington were called to investigate gunshots heard on New York Avenue at about 4am. They discovered a homeless man had been shot. He was taken to hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

On March 8, Washington police found another homeless man who had been shot. His injuries were also not life-threatening.

The following day, police responded to reports of a tent fire on New York Avenue. A deceased man was found inside the tent and further investigation determined that he had received multiple stab and gunshot wounds.

Three days later, police in New York City issued a citywide appeal to help locate a man accused of shooting at least two homeless people.

A 38-year-old man had been shot in lower Manhattan on Saturday morning, investigators said, while another man was found dead in his sleeping bag with gunshot wounds to his head and neck.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: March 15, 2022, 7:56 PM