Suspect sought in shootings of homeless men in New York, Washington

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NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) - Police in New York and Washington, D.C., on Monday were searching for a suspect they believe had shot five homeless men in the two cities, saying forensic evidence had linked a lone gunman to all of the shootings.

The mayors of New York City and the Washington, during an evening news conference in the nation's capital, asked for the public's help in identifying the suspect, whose photo they distributed after he was caught on surveillance cameras.

"He must be brought to justice. We will bring him to justice," New York Mayor Eric Adams told reporters. Two of the victims died from their wounds.

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The shootings targeting homeless men began on March 3 when Washington's Metropolitan Police officers were alerted to sounds of gunshots on New York Avenue at about 4 a.m. The victim was taken to hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

On March 8, police in that city found another homeless man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was transported to a hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The following day, police spotted a tent fire on New York Avenue and found a deceased homeless man inside. Further investigation determined that he had suffered multiple stab and gunshot wounds.

Three days later, a 38-year-old man was shot in the arm in New York City's lower Manhattan.

A short time later, police responding to a 911 call about a man suffering from gunshot wounds to the head and neck found the victim dead inside a sleeping bag on Lafayette Street.

Police said a sixth victim initially thought connected to the attacks had been ruled as an unrelated medical incident.

The violence, which took place overnight in northeast Washington, D.C., and in lower Manhattan, comes amid a rise in violent crime in both cities and a spate of seemingly random attacks in New York City.

Police in the New York suburb of Yonkers said on Monday that they had arrested a man in the beating of a 67-year-old woman that was captured on surveillance video.

The attacker is accused of a hate crime in the case because he referred to the victim's Asian heritage in the attack, police said.

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Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles Editing by Aurora Ellis and Stephen Coates

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