NYC homeless community is living in fear as serial killer targets them in vicious spree
A suspected serial killer targeting homeless people has left the NYC's most vulnerable terrified. Three homeless men were shot and killed in separate attacks in Washington DC between March 3 and 9. Police now believe that the three DC men and two New York City men who were shot on Saturday, March 12, were all targeted by the same person.
Derrick DeMaria, who is an advocate for the homeless community, said the suspected serial killer targeting the homeless has scared some of Big Apple's most vulnerable population. He said, "I talked to my friend in one of the nearby shelters, and he's scared. There's so much anxiousness and fear among the houseless. They don't know where to go or what to do." Derrick further said, "I talked to someone this morning who might be losing his status in his shelter, and he's really upset, and now he's afraid to be on the street with someone killing the houseless."
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Derrick told The Sun, "If you're even able to get a bed in a shelter, a lot of the facilities are dangerous. Every hour on the hour, they wake everyone up for wellness checks so they get no sleep. Some have mental issues who aren't getting help, so there's weeping, muttering, anguish and hysteria. Derrick added, "And that's from one of my friends in one of the best shelters. How can you have any existence like that?." Some homeless people have set up tents in mini encampments on the street or in subways or chose to sleep on benches instead of living in the shelters. The NYPD broke up dozens of encampments throughout the subway system with crime spiking about 200% in February.
John, who's homeless and living in a shelter, in a separate interview with the Sun said the homeless community in downtown Manhattan is scared for their lives. "There's always been violence against us because we're not seen as human," said John. "I've slept on the street for years. There's always a fear of being attacked. It's hard to sleep most nights. And now every one of my homeless peeps sleeping on the street near the shootings, especially the elderly or mentally ill, are in danger," he added.
Recently, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell tweeted, "NYPD officers are working tirelessly to bring the person responsible for the shootings of two of our most vulnerable New Yorkers to justice." Keechant further wrote, "They’re connecting with those in need of services, searching block-by-block, and in contact with @DCPoliceDept partners. We will find him." A combined reward of $10,000 is being offered for information that catches the suspect.