Police in New York City have arrested a homeless man after attacking four homeless people who were sleeping in the subway with a knife, killing two of them and injuring the other two, the police department said on Sunday.
According to the New York Police Department, Rigoberto Lopez is currently facing two charges of second-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder and a single count of first-degree murder.
Authorities said the first stabbing occurred on Friday morning when Lopez stabbed a 67-year-old man in the knee and buttocks at the 181st Street station in Manhattan. The man said his assailant told him, “I’m going to kill you.”
At 11:19 p.m. Friday, officers discovered the lifeless body of a man – who was believed to be in his 50s – at Queens’ Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue station.
Two hours later, an employee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority found the bloodied body of Claudine Roberts at 207th Street in Inwood, Manhattan. The 44-year-old woman was sent to New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Later on Saturday, another man also suffered stab wounds as he slept at a Manhattan subway station.
Authorities believe that the four victims are homeless people seeking shelter amid the cold winter months.
A criminal complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office indicated that Lopez confessed to each of the attacks.
The 21-year-old assailant has been held without bail and would be trialed in a court on Friday.
New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea pledged that 500 additional officers would be deployed to patrol the subway system of the city.
“We will immediately commence a surge of officers to control both above and below ground,” Shea said on Saturday night, adding that “everyone that rides on our transit system on a daily basis not only is safe but, just as importantly, feels safe.”
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