Chilling footage has captured a masked man gunning down two homeless men sleeping on the street in the SoHo area of Manhattan. The action resulted in the death of one person while injuring the other victim.
The police have launched a manhunt for the suspected accused who fled away from the scene after committing the crime.
Shooter Checked if the Victim Was Dead
In the incident, which took place at 148 Lafayette Street around 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, the masked shooter is seen walking slowly near one of the homeless man asleep inside his bright yellow sleeping bag. After nearing the victim, the shooter, after cautiously checking the surroundings, prods the victim's body with his foot, to check if he is alive.
He then takes out a gun and firing directly into the man's head and neck, several times at point-blank range. Later, he pulls back the victim's sleeping bag to ensure that he is dead. He then flees from the scene.
The Daily Mail reported that before fatally shooting the homeless man, the accused had fired shots at another homeless man an hour ago. However, the victim escaped with injuries to his arm. "The victim woke up ... screaming: 'What are you doing?," NYPD Deputy Chief Hank Saunter said.
Shooting Causes Concern in the Neighborhood
The police claimed that the man was taken to the Bellevue Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.
The New York Post reported that the body of the victim was found 12 hours later. In a press conference, Mayor Eric Adams asked public's help to locate the accused. "Homelessness turning into a homicide. We need to find this person and we need New Yorkers to help us. I believe that's what makes this case so horrific, watching the video, watching the individual intentionally walk up to innocent people that are dealing with the challenges of homelessness - and it's quite possible that one of our citizens is still alive merely because he woke up,' Adams said.
"And I'm here today to send a very clear message, that all New Yorkers matter. Two individuals were shot while sleeping on the streets, not committing a crime but sleeping on the streets," he added.