Suspect charged with murders of 4 homeless men in New York City

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New York Police Department officers investigate the scene of an attack in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 in New York. Four men who are believed to be homeless were attacked and killed early Saturday in a street rampage. NYPD Detective Annette Shelton said that a fifth man remained in critical condition after also being struck with a long metal object that authorities recovered. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)

NEW YORK CITY, Ny. (CBS NEWS) – A suspect has been arrested and charged with the murders of four homeless men in New York City. Randy Santos, 24, was arrested Sunday afternoon by the New York Police Department and charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and unlawful possession of marijuana.

On Saturday night, four homeless men were beaten to death by a man wielding a metal pipe in New York City, police said. A fifth victim, who was believed to be homeless, was hospitalized with injuries.

NYPD officers recovered the murder weapon and said Santos is also homeless.

Police responded to reports of a fight at 1:40 a.m. Saturday in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood, where first responders discovered a victim who suffered trauma to his head. They discovered three other victims just a block away. Police said the victims were apparently sleeping when the attack occurred.

The fifth victim, a 49-year-old male, was hospitalized in serious condition.

“It is very scary, you know, because I walk through here all the time, going to the library and everything,” resident Carla Williams told CBS New York.

Police said the motive appears to be a random attack and not a hate crime.

As of August, there were 61,674 homeless people living in New York City shelters, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. The advocacy group said “thousands of unsheltered homeless people” sleep on the city’s streets every night.

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