(CNN)People experiencing homelessness in New York City and Washington, DC, are under high alert after five shootings targeting homeless men occurred over the past two weeks.
The shootings took place between March 3 and March 12 and left two men dead, the New York Police Department and Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department said in a joint statement. Each shooting happened during overnight hours and targeted men experiencing homelessness, authorities said.
Three of the shootings happened earlier this month in Washington, followed by two more in New York Saturday.
Authorities say the shootings were carried out by a single suspect who is now the subject of a manhunt.
Here’s what we know about the shootings:
Shootings occurred after midnight
The first shooting took place in Washington, DC, around 4 a.m. on March 3 in the 1100 block of New York Avenue Northeast, the MPD said in a statement Sunday. Officers responded to a call of shots fired and found a man suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. He was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, the statement said.
The second shooting was reported around 1:21 a.m. on March 8 in the 1700 block of H Street Northeast, MPD said. Officers found another man suffering from apparent gunshot wounds and he was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Then, around 2:54 a.m. on March 9, a MPD member noticed a fire in the 400 block of New York Avenue Northeast and a man’s remains were discovered after the flames were extinguished. The cause of death was determined to be multiple stab and gunshot wounds, police said.
The fourth and fifth shootings occurred in New York City early Saturday March 12 when the suspect opened fire on two apparently homeless people who were sleeping on the street, killing one and wounding the other, the NYPD said.
The shootings happened about 90 minutes apart in Lower Manhattan and were caught on surveillance cameras, the department said. The NYPD described what the videos showed but did not release them to CNN.
One video shows a man who appeared to be homeless sleeping near the corner of King Street and Varick when an unknown suspect approached and shot him in his forearm, NYPD Deputy Chief Commanding Officer Henry Sautner said during a news conference Saturday. The man woke up and shouted, “What are you doing?” at the shooter, who then ran away, Sautner added.
Police were called to the scene around 4:30 a.m. and the 38-year-old victim was taken to a hospital for treatment.
In addition, investigators became aware of a second shooting outside 148 Lafayette Street Saturday. There, officers found a man in a sleeping bag with gunshot wounds to his head and neck, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Sautner said. Surveillance video shows a suspect approaching the sleeping victim around 6:00 a.m. and discharging a weapon, Sautner said.
‘Urgent’ manhunt underway
The NYPD and MPD cited similar circumstances and characteristics linking the attacks, though they did not release specific details.
Speaking to Bloomberg Monday, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said a ballistics match helped law enforcement connect the shootings.
On Monday, officials released new images of the suspect and called on the public to provide any information they can to help identify and locate him.
In the meantime, Bowser asked unsheltered residents in New York City and Washington, DC, to seek shelter.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell joined Bowser at a press conference in Washington, DC, Monday.
“Someone knows this person. We’re asking for the public to find them,” Adams said. “This person is carrying out a premeditated attack of shooting innocent people.”
“The work to get this individual off our streets before he hurts or murders another individual is urgent. The rise in gun violence has shaken all of us and it is particularly horrible to know that someone is out there deliberately doing harm to an already vulnerable population,” the mayors said in a joint statement Sunday.
NYPD and MPD are working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the investigation and have offered a combined $55,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.
NYC and DC officials working to protect vulnerable population
In their joint statement, both mayors said there is a “cold-blooded killer on the loose.”
The NYPD directed its members to do wellness checks on people who appear homeless, according to a memo obtained by CNN sent on Sunday. Police were instructed to show individuals a flyer with the photo of a man police want to talk to in connection with the shootings.
“Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable and an individual preying on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime,” Sewell said. “We will use every tool, every technique and every partner to bring the killer to justice.”
“We know that this is a scary situation,” Bowser said at the news conference Monday evening. “We know that our unsheltered residents already face a lot of daily dangers and it is unconscionable that anybody would target this vulnerable population.”
CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Liam Reilly, Susannah Cullinane and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.