NEW YORK — A man accused of targeting homeless men in multiple shootings, including two in Manhattan, has been arrested in Washington, D.C., police said early Tuesday.
Police said 30-year-old Gerald Brevard III is charged with first-degree murder while armed, as well as assault with intent to kill and assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the shootings in Washington.
Chief of D.C. Police Robert Contee said Tuesday “additional charges for offenses committed in New York are anticipated.”
Following a news conference held Monday evening by New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, additional tips came into the D.C. police command information center, according to authorities. Using that information, authorities said agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were able to locate the suspect.
Authorities believe the suspect is responsible for five separate shootings, two of which were fatal — one in New York City and the other in D.C.
On Sunday, the NYPD and the D.C. police department announced that they believed the incidents were connected because of several similarities and information from the ATF’s ballistic database.
According to authorities, all five shootings involved homeless men being shot by an automatic handgun in the early morning hours.
At a news briefing Tuesday afternoon, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said the NYPD did not yet have enough evidence to make an arrest for the Manhattan attacks, but added that he's "very confident we'll get there."
Essig did not mention Brevard by name and at first referred to him as a person of interest in the New York City cases, but did later declare him a suspect. He said the NYPD is working with the Manhattan DA and that those investigations are ongoing.
Essig noted several similarities between the cases in Washington and New York City.
"The gun is connected, and then based on photographs, same clothing. He has the same distinctive Puma sneakers, he has the same black pants, he has the same mask in the connections. That's why we're connecting them," Essig said. "D.C. has arrested him for their three incidents. We have him as a person of interest in ours, a very good person of interest, and we will continue to work our case."
Brevard's father, Gerald Brevard Jr., issued a statement in which he issued condolences to the families of the victims. He said his son has a history of mental illness and that the system has failed him.
"To the families of the victims, I extend my deepest condolences and am truly sorry for their losses and the circumstances that have brought me to this statement today," the statement from Brevard Jr. reads. "I have just recently become aware of the arrest of my son, Gerald Brevard III and what he is expected to be charged with. I haven’t been provided any details regarding his arrest and I am unable to speak on that particular subject. I can, however, speak on who my son is. He is a good person and like many across the world, he suffers from mental illness. The bigger picture is not that he has mental illness, but the number of times that he’s been within the judicial system and how the system has failed regarding the treatment of so many, including my son. I don’t know what the evidence is, and as I mentioned earlier, I cannot speak to the details of the case. I can only speak to the issue of the failure of the judicial system identifying that my son suffers from mental illness but not treating it."