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In Chinatown, Rampage Against Sleeping Homeless Men Leaves 4 Dead

(NEW YORK TIMES) Edgar Sandoval, William K. Rashbaum and October 5, 2019

The killer first struck just before 2 a.m. on Saturday on a quiet spot on East Broadway in Chinatown, sneaking up on three homeless men as they slept on a sidewalk and bludgeoning them to death with a rusty, three-foot metal bar, the police said.

Clad in all black, he then ran a block north and attacked two more men sleeping on a sidewalk, killing one. The second man barely staggered away with his life.

The rampage ended a few minutes later with the arrest of a suspect whom the police also described as homeless, but it was one of the most harrowing events in recent memory for New York City’s homeless population, which has been steadily rising even as the city has maintained solid economic growth. One of the four men killed was 83-years-old, the police said, and the surviving victim was in critical condition.

Advocates say it is difficult to determine the exact number of homeless people living on the city’s streets, in the subways and in other public spaces, but an annual count last January put the number at 3,588. A far larger number — about 62,000 people — live in the shelter system.

Source: New York Times