A lone madman is believed to be responsible for fatally stabbing two homeless people and slashing two others during a bloodthirsty spree along the A subway line, police said Saturday as they announced a massive manhunt for the suspect.
The two fatalities happened on opposite ends of the line Friday into Saturday– one in Inwood, the northernmost end, and another at the line’s southernmost spot, in the Rockaways — with both victims found dead in their subway seats.
Two surviving victims are helping police identify their attacker, preliminarily described by officials as a possibly Hispanic male standing just five-feet tall and wearing a face mask.
“Three of these incidents appear to be connected and the Detective Bureau is looking into the possibility that all four could have been committed by one individual,” Transit Chief Kathleen O’Reilly told reporters.
“We will work tirelessly to bring the individual or individuals to justice,” she said.
Officials released the following chronology at a 2 p.m. press conference at NYPD headquarters in lower Manhattan:
-At 11:20 am on Friday, a 67-year-old man was stabbed by a random attacker at the A train’s 181st Street A subway station. “I am going to kill you!” he tells cops his attacker screamed, according to sources. He is expected to survive the attack.
-Twelve hours later, at 11:29 p.m. on Friday, a man was found stabbed to death in his seat on an A train at Mott Avenue Far Rockaway A Trains station. He had suffered stab wounds to his neck and torso, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
-Some two hours after that, at 1:15 a.m. Saturday, an unconscious 44-year-old woman was found with fatal stab wounds inside an A train at the 207th Street station. She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
-Shortly after that, at 1:28 a.m. Saturday, a 43-year-old man was randomly stabbed at the A train station at 659 West 181st Street. He is being treated at an area hospital and is in stable condition.
The NYPD is beefing up its presence throughout the subway system, officials said.
A total of 865 additional officers will be patrolling the system by Monday, including 75 plainclothes cops who are being deployed immediately, she said. Some 40 cops are being yanked from their administrative assignments.
“Until this individual is apprehended the A line is probably going to be the safest line in the city,” O’Reilly said.
“Building on what has already been done in terms of man and women power in our transit system of late, we will immediately commence a surge of officers to patrol both above and below ground, to ensure that everyone that rides our transit system on a daily basis not only is safe, but just as importantly, feels safe,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
“This surge will result in an additional 500 officers, which is a significant increase to the staffing of our transit bureau. They will be deployed immediately throughout New York City.”
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