(ABC NEWS) — Four homeless men were killed in New York City’s Chinatown early Saturday morning, and police say they have a person of interest in custody.
The victims appeared to be sleeping when the attacks occurred, Chief of Manhattan South Detectives Michael Baldassano said at a press conference Saturday. Three were found on East Broadway, while another was found on Bowery.
All four were pronounced dead at the scenes, police said.
A 24-year-old man, who police also believe is homeless, is in custody and considered a person of interest, according to Stephen J. Hughes, assistant chief of NYPD Manhattan South.
Around 1:50 a.m., police responded to reports of an assault and discovered an unconscious man in his 60s lying in the street on Bowery “with severe head trauma,” Hughes said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another man, who also sustained head injuries, then approached police and was transported to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Hospital in critical condition, police said.
Witnesses told police they say a man striking the victims with a metal object numerous times.
After searching the area, police found a man that matched witnesses’ description and took him into custody without incident. A metal object, described as a pipe, was recovered, according to Hughes.
Baldassano said the attacks appeared to be random.
“No one was targeted by race, age, anything of that nature,” he said.
Police are asking anyone who may have seen the assaults, or any other potential victims, to come forward.