String of Homeless Murders in D.C. Ends



Ariana Warner, Author

An urgent manhunt for a masked gunman targeting the homeless, is now over as the suspect is now in custody. Police in Washington D.C recently arrested a suspect in a series of shootings targeting homeless people in New York City, and Washington D.C, In which they believe to be connected. Investigators believe this one suspect is responsible for five shootings between two cities this month.

The first three shootings took place in between the first week of March, in D.C. Two separate calls on two separate days, about gunshots, led police to two homeless men suffering non-threatening gunshot wounds in which they were treated, and survived. Officers then noticed a tent was on fire, and discovered the body of a victim. According to the autopsy, the victim suffered stab, and gunshot wounds, and his tent was then set on fire. The two following shootings occurred in New York City, while one man survived a non-threatening injury to the forearm, and the other was killed after the suspect fired multiple rounds.

Due to the similarities and common circumstances of the victims, as well as the recovered evidence, Washington and New York City police jointly investigated the shootings across both cities in which they believed was committed by the same suspect. D.C police identified the suspect in custody, as Gerald Brevard, 30, of Southeast D.C. He has since been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, and first degree murder while armed, in connection with the three shootings in Washington, police told ABC News.

The suspect has not offered a motive, so the murders appear to be random. “Based on all the evidence that we pulled together in this case, the video evidence, the images that we’ve seen, this individual, we believe, I’m very confident we have enough probable cause to charge that person with the crimes that have occurred here in the District of Columbia,” MPD Chief Robert J. Contee III said during a briefing, ABC news stated. Brevard has no prior criminal history in New York, though has had plenty of contact with police in several states, including an arrest in Fairfax County for attempted rape, according to county records.

The killings of these innocent people have really opened the eyes of police officers in both cities. Police made it clear in a news release that they are committed to finding safety for homeless individuals. “Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable and an individual preying on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime,” said NYPD Police Commissioner Sewell, and MPD Chief Contee. Although this unfortunate incident took place, officers are doing all they can to keep the rest of the homeless safe, and Brevard has since been arrested.