New York Police Arrest Man in Connection with Stabbing of 3 Homeless Men in Their Sleep: 'Senseless Acts'

The suspect — who is also homeless, police said — allegedly stabbed and killed one man on July 5, while two other men survived separate attacks

This story was updated after the NYPD announced the arrest of a man in connection with the stabbing of three homeless men across New York City.

Police arrested a man Wednesday in connection with the recent stabbings of three homeless men across New York City.

"Early this morning in Upper Manhattan, 40-year-old Trevon Murphy was taken into custody," New York Police Department Commissioner Keechant Sewell said during a press conference on Wednesday. "A good Samaritan spotted him sitting at a bus stop near St. Nicholas Park. He was dressed in the same shirt and distinctive neon sneakers he was wearing in the photos and videos the NYP publicly released just yesterday."

One of the alleged stabbing victims died, while two others were injured in the attacks, which occurred during overnight hours when the victims were asleep in public areas, according to The New York Times.

"These are senseless acts on defenseless people experiencing homelessness, and somebody knows this person," Sewell said Tuesday at a press conference.

Police shared images of the suspect with the hope that he would be spotted, which proved fruitful early Wednesday.

"A member of the community who was in the vicinity of West 128th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue near the park called 911 to report a possible sighting of the man wanted in connection with these stabbing attacks," Assistant Chief Joseph Kenny said Wednesday afternoon in an update to the media. "At the same time this community member saw two uniformed members of the NYPD standing on the corner. He approached them, pointed the subject out to them and he was taken into custody without incident."

Kenny told reporters that Murphy is also homeless and that he is "familiar with the New York City shelter system."

The NYPD's active investigation is looking into possible connections to the alleged victims, Kenny said.

The first attack happened on July 5 at about 3 a.m., when a 34-year-old male sleeping on a bench across from the Hudson River was stabbed by the suspect, who was wielding a large kitchen knife, according to multiple reports.

After awakening to a sharp pain in his abdomen, he staggered across the street where a passerby called 911. He was transported to Bellevue Hospital where he died, per The Times.

On July 8, the alleged assailant attacked another man, this time in Midtown, according to CNN.

After staring at the man, 59, for about a half-hour, the suspect put on a face mask and then stabbed the homeless person who was reclining on a bench. He survived.

In the third incident, which took place early Monday morning, a man was stabbed while lying on a basketball court in a park on the city's Upper East Side, near FDR Drive.

NYPD Searching for Attacker Who Stabbed 3 Homeless Men in Their Sleep

When the man, 28, woke up around 3:30 a.m., he said he felt a "punch" in his side. He chased the attacker for a short distance but didn't catch up because of his wound, police told CNN.

An NYPD spokesman told PEOPLE the department will release more information if there are any further updates.

In two of the attacks, the alleged suspect was seen riding a Citi Bike, according to a surveillance video released by the NYPD and posted on the department's Twitter page. In the first incident, the man was wearing black pants and a black hooded sweatshirt bearing the words "Innocence Project," a group that helps free the wrongfully convicted.

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The organization said in a statement to The Times that it was "unaware of any connection between the man in the photo and the Innocence Project."

The recent attacks come four months after a suspect was arrested in connection with the five shootings that appeared to target homeless men in New York City and Washington D.C.

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