New York City police have arrested a man in connection with a series of subway stabbing attacks that killed two people and injured two others, the police department said Sunday.
The man, Rigoberto Lopez, 21, faces two charges of second-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder and a single count of first-degree murder, police said. Officials said the day before Lopez was arrested that officers were called to the Fort Washington subway station around 11:20 a.m. Friday and found a 67-year-old man suffering stab wounds.
Officers found a man dead at a station in Far Rockaway with stab wounds to the face and the neck after another call at around 11:30 p.m. Friday. A few hours later, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority employee found a woman stabbed on a train.
The woman, 44, died at a hospital.
Another man, 43, was found at the Fort Washington station with stab wounds around the same time, police said. He told police that he had been attacked by an unidentified man.
All four of the people who were attacked are believed to be homeless, police said.
Lopez confessed to each of the stabbings, according to a complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office at Lopez’s arraignment Monday. He was held without bail and is next due in court on Friday.
Eric Adams, Brooklyn’s borough president, said in a statement that the city’s approach to subway safety is “failing,” noting a surge of other violent crimes on public transit trains.
“The perpetrators of this violence are often struggling with some form of severe mental illness, and their targets are frequently some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers, including our homeless neighbors who seek out the subway system as a refuge during the winter months,” he said in a statement.
New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Saturday that 500 more officers would be deployed throughout the city to patrol subway stations.