Update: The New York Post has managed to dig up some more information about the (allegedly) homeless man suspected of murdering four other vagrants (and badly injuring a fifth) during a late night/early morning killing spree.
The suspect has been identified as 24-year-old Rodriguez “Randy” Santos.
Santos was arrested last November on an assault charge: He leaped over a desk at a store on West 35th Street in Midtown and grabbed a man by the neck, then bit his chest. The NYP reportedly obtained the information from a "high ranking law enforcement source".
Before Friday night's attack, Santos had racked up some 14 arrests - four of them in the last year. He's believed to be homeless, though it's unclear how long he's been living on the street.
The police said Santos's attack had all the hallmarks of a random killing spree.
Here's some information about Santos's motive according to a detective who spoke at an NYPD press conference.
"Motive appears to be, right now, just random attacks. It doesn’t seem anybody was targeted by race, age, anything of that nature," said Chief of Manhattan South Detective Michael Baldassano.
Santos is still in police custody.
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There's a new 'American Psycho' prowling the streets of New York City.
Four homeless men were found murdered in Lower Manhattan Saturday morning. Police said the men were attacked and beaten to death, likely while they slept. A fifth man was found badly wounded, but alive.
Police discovered the first two victims after responding to a report of an assault in progress on Bowery Street near Doyers Street in Chinatown shortly before 2 am on Saturday morning, CNN reports.
The attacker fled as police approached, but officers soon found two men, both with severe head trauma after being bludgeoned with a bat or a pipe. One was pronounced dead at the scene. Another was taken to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.
A search of the area turned up three more victims with similar head trauma, all pronounced dead at the scene. Two of the men were discovered in front of a store on East Broadway, another was found across the street.
Police then spotted the suspected assailant - he was reportedly carrying a three-foot-long, blood-covered metal poll that he had apparently stolen from a construction site. The 24-year-old man was taken into custody, but police haven't released his name, though they did say they believe the suspect is also homeless.
NYC's homeless population has exploded in recent years as housing prices and rents have soared, and the killings will almost certainly draw attention to the homelessness crisis gripping the city. Notably, the killings are reminiscent of a scene from the movie 'American Psycho', based on a novel by Brett Easton Ellis, where the movie's anti-hero, Patrick Bateman (played by actor Christian Bale), stabs and kills an unsuspecting homeless man.