The suspect was being monitored by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Guns and Explosives, which is looking for him in Washington, a law enforcement official told CNN, who said federal officials learned of his identity around noon Monday.
The ATF team found him traveling as a herdsman after he crossed the Pennsylvania Avenue Bridge to a gas station, where he was arrested, the source said.
The attacks took place between March 3 and 12 and killed two men, according to a joint statement from the New York Police Department and the Washington Metropolitan Police. Two more shootings took place in New York while ATF and DC police were investigating three Washington shootings.
The ATF used its NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network) ballistics matching organization to confirm that Washington and New York were involved in the shootings, law enforcement officials told CNN.
ATF and DC police officers are expected at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Prior to his arrest on Tuesday, leaders in both cities urged homeless people to seek shelter.
“We know this is a terrible situation,” Bowser told a news conference Monday evening. “We know our homeless residents already face daily dangers, and it is unwise for anyone to target these vulnerable people.”
How the attacks unfolded
– The second shooting was reported on March 8 at 1:21 a.m. in the 1700 block northeast of H Street, according to the MPD. Authorities found one victim with gunshot wounds and he was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
– At 2:54 a.m. on March 9, an MPD member noticed a fire in the 400 block northeast of New York Avenue. The remains of a man were found after the fire was extinguished. Police said multiple injuries and gunshot wounds were the cause of death.
In one of the shootings in New York, video shows a man sleeping homeless near the corner of King Street and Warrick, when an assailant approached him and shot him in the forearm, NYPD Deputy Commander Henry Satner said Saturday.
When the man woke up, “What are you doing?” To the shooter, he fled, Satner said. The victim, a 38-year-old man, was taken to hospital for treatment.
Another New York shooting took place outside 148 Lafayette Street at 6 p.m. There, officers found a man in a sleeping bag with gunshot wounds to his head and neck, Satner said. He died at the scene.
Homeless residents were urged to find shelter
Prior to the suspect’s arrest, Bowser had asked asylum seekers in New York City and Washington to seek refuge.
“It is horrible to know that someone is deliberately harming people who are already vulnerable,” the mayors said in a joint statement Sunday. New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Keessen Sewell joined Bowser at a news conference in Washington on Monday.
The NYPD instructed its members to look into the welfare of those who appear to be homeless, according to a Sunday memo received by CNN.
“Our homeless people are one of the most vulnerable, and it is an exceptionally heinous crime for an individual to prey on them while they sleep,” Sewell said.
“We work very hard to get our homeless neighbors to work through shelters or housing and tent camps … so we can provide housing and shelter for our residents,” Bowser told Bloomberg. “We know that this epidemic has elevated many of our systems, and our homeless system is one of them.”
CNN’s Pervaiz Shallwani, Artemis Moshtaghian, Liam Reilly, Susannah Cullinane and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.
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