Mar 15, 2022 - News

Police arrest suspect Gerald Brevard in fatal attacks on homeless

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, center, is speaking at a podium with New York City Mayor Eric Adams on the left and D.C. police chief Robert Contee on the other side.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A man was arrested early Tuesday morning in D.C. after a search for the person police say killed two homeless men and wounded three others in attacks in the nation's capital and New York City.

Driving the news: Federal agents apprehended Gerald Brevard, 30, after a tipster helped identify him Monday afternoon, D.C. police chief Robert Contee told reporters.

  • Contee said he was "very confident" charging Brevard with multiple felonies, including first-degree murder in the killing of 54-year-old Morgan Holmes on March 9. A firearm was not recovered on Brevard. Officials said ballistics analysis showed the same gun was used in all of the attacks. Police in New York City have not yet charged Brevard.
  • "He has not offered a motive," Contee said. "We believe it was random."

Brevard has a long arrest record dating to 2009, according to public records. In 2018, he was enrolled in a mental health services program run by the District, according to D.C. Department of Behavioral Health director Barbara Bazron.

  • Brevard was also admitted to St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington in 2019 for a competency assessment after an arrest, Bazron said at a press conference. "He was found to be competent to participate in his defense and was released back to jail," she said.

Between the lines: Brevard’s father told the New York Times that the criminal justice system had not addressed his son’s illness and “the system has failed regarding the treatment of so many.”

  • “I cannot speak to the details of the case,” he said. “I can only speak to the issue of the failure of the judicial system identifying that my son suffers from mental illness but not treating it.”

Catch up quick: Three men experiencing homelessness sleeping on the streets were shot in D.C. between March 3 and 9, according to police. Holmes died from his injuries, which included stab wounds.

  • This past weekend, two men were shot in New York City and one died. Officials said the acts looked premeditated and that there was little to no interaction between the shooter and victims.
  • Police chief Contee said that a D.C. detective first drew a connection between the killings after coming across news of the New York shootings.

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