Yesterday, a suspect was arrested and charged in the murder in connection with multiple stabbings over the course of 14-hours on the subway that left two dead and two in critical condition.
The suspect, 21-year-old Rigoberto Lopez, who was living in a homeless shelter in a neighborhood in Brooklyn, attacked four homeless people on the A train starting on Friday, February 12, morning at around 11:20 am, when a homeless man was stabbed at the 181 St Station.
That night, at 11:29 pm, a man was found dead with slashes to his neck and chest on the Far Rockaway A train. Two hours later, at around 1:15 am Claudia Roberts,44, was found with several stab wounds to her body.
Roberts was the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant, Winston Roberts, who lives in Crown Heights. Roberts had just been released from Bellevue for ongoing mental illness a week before her death and was living in a homeless shelter.
At around 1:18 am on Saturday, February 13, cops responded to a 911 call and found a fourth man stabbed.
When police at the Washington Heights station (34 Precinct) caught Lopez on Feb 14, within 24 hours of the first incident, he still had the knife and blood on him, cops say.
All of the attacks were unprovoked and Lopez was charged with one count of murder in the first degree, two counts of murder in the second degree, and two counts of attempted murder. Lopez has a history of mental illness and is currently being held without bail at Bellevue Hospital where he is to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Lopez was staying at a hotel that had been turned into a homeless shelter in Gowanus before his arrest, NYT reported on Sunday.
The attacks on the already homeless of New York is “heartbreaking and horrifying,” said Council Member Landers in a tweet. “Our failure to provide safe shelter, permanent homes, and mental health services to those who need them is a life-threatening crisis,” he added.
On Sunday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that the NYPD will add an additional 500 to patrol above and below the city’s transit system.