An intense manhunt ended Tuesday after the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. arrested a man who police say preyed on homeless people and shot five in the nation’s capital and New York City.
“Today I am here to announce we have got our man,” said MPD Chief Robert Contee after 30-year-old Gerald Brevard was taken into custody.
Investigators are interrogating Brevard to discover his motives. He is expected to face several charges, including first-degree murder.
Brevard has been homeless himself for year and has an arrest record that includes an assault and at least one felony. According to a relative, Brevard has dealt with severe problems that have not been addressed.
“My cousin has dealt with mental issues for a very long time,” said Brevard’s cousin, Rosaline Law. “And what I want to say is that he along with everybody else who has mental issues, they need help.”
Police say Brevard was arrested after a tipster identified him when police released photos and videos on Monday.
“That is what true public safety looks like,” said Contee. “When the police are doing their responsibilities, we have the science to handle all the things in the background. Then we have people in the community, who see, and know what happens in the community and share that information with the police. That’s how you close homicide cases.”
Three of the shootings took place in the nation’s capital between March 3rd and March 9th. According to police, one of the victims was found dead after authorities responded to a call regarding a tent fire. Two more followed in New York City on March 12 when police said Brevard shot two men sleeping on a street in Manhattan, killing one of the victims.
“Somehow, those experiencing street homelessness have become public enemy number one,” said Jawana James Williams, organizer and director of Vocal NY, an advocacy group.
A D.C. police detective connected the shootings in the two cities after seeing a report of an attack on homeless men in New York City. Ballistics reports found that the same weapon was used in both cities, and police offered a $70,000 reward to help find the perpetrator.