Washington, DC – Authorities arrested the suspect in multiple brutal attacks on sleeping homeless men in DC and New York City that left two men dead as he strolled through the nation’s capital on Tuesday morning.
Federal law enforcement sources told WTOP that 30-year-old Gerald Brevard III was walking along Pennsylvania Avenues, SE, early on March 15 when he was taken into custody by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) confirmed that the suspect had been arrested for multiple attacks in both cities that left two men dead, but they have not released his identity.
Police sources told WNBC that DC police received a tip on the suspect’s identity after they released pictures from surveillance cameras near the attacks.
The senior law enforcement official said the New York Police Department (NYPD) received a tip about the suspect’s name, and the agencies worked together to track down the suspect.
Brevard is from DC, according to WTOP.
The official said the suspect was wearing similar clothing when he was arrested to what he had on when he shot the homeless men in their sleeping bags in Manhattan, but he didn’t have a weapon when he was taken into custody, WNBC reported.
Investigators said they were trying to determine why the suspect was out walking around in the middle of the night in DC, according to the official.
The official said in both New York City shootings, the suspect walked around the block before returning to pull the trigger, WNBC reported.
MPD said investigators were still questioning the suspect, WTOP reported.
Cities leaders were quick to reassure a frightened public that the killer had been caught, WNBC reported.
“We promised that we’d bring this killer to justice. We kept that promise,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams tweeted on Tuesday. “Thank you to all of our partners in law enforcement for their good work. Public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity. Keeping our streets safe means bringing our country back.”
Authorities have credited the multijurisdictional effort for the quick capture of the suspect, WNBC reported.
“Excellent detective work, teamwork with our partners from the Metropolitan Police in DC at the ATF, and the FBI culminated in the arrest of the suspect in five shootings, including two murders of homeless men in New York City and Washington, DC,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “People experiencing homelessness have many worries to cope with every day. Tonight, they will have one less.”
Court records showed the Brevard is a career criminal who pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in 2019, WTOP reported.
He was arrested in Fairfax County, Virginia and charged with burglary and abduction in connection with the assault of a woman at a hotel in 2020, according to court records.
Brevard ended up pleading guilty to a reduced charge in that case, WTOP reported.
Adams and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser released a joint statement on Sunday night that called the suspect in at least five attacks a “cold-blooded killer,” WPIX reported.
“The work to get this individual off our streets before he hurts or murders another individual is urgent,” the statement read. “The rise in gun violence has shaken all of us and it is particularly horrible to know that someone is out there deliberately doing harm to an already vulnerable population.”
Then Adams and Bowser called on homeless residents of both cities “to seek shelter” and warned them “we now have a cold-blooded killer on the loose,” WPIX reported.
Authorities said three homeless men were attacked on March 3, March 8, and March 9 in the nation’s capital.
Two of the men were shot but survived their wounds, WPIX reported.
Officials said the third victim was shot and stabbed to death before the suspect set his tent on fire and left him to burn.
Two victims were shot a few blocks from each other about an hour apart on Saturday morning in the Big Apple, WPIX reported.
One of the New York City victims died.
Police said both attacks were unprovoked and committed against men asleep in sleeping bags.
A third possible victim in Manhattan was found dead in a sleeping bag at about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday night near Greenwich and Murray Streets, WPIX reported.
Police said the man had suffered two puncture wounds to his body.
Officials said on Monday morning that the third attack had not yet been officially connected to the others and police were still investigating, WPIX reported.