New York: Murder arrest over subway homeless fatal stabbings

A 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following a spate of fatal knife attacks on the New York subway over the weekend.

Four people – all thought to be homeless – were stabbed, two fatally.

Rigoberto Lopez was detained on Saturday night and formally arrested on Sunday on charges of murder and attempted murder.

A picture of the knife found on Rigoberto Lopez. Pic: @NYPDnews

A man was found dead on a train in Queens on Friday night with stab wounds to his neck and torso, according to police.

Two hours later a woman, 44, was found stabbed on a subway train in Manhattan, and she later died in hospital.

The other two people – men aged 67 and 43 – were injured in attacks in upper Manhattan.

Deputy Chief Brian McGee of the New York City Police Department said Lopez was taken into custody at 6.15pm on Saturday after being spotted in the area of Manhattan where three of the attacks took place.

Police say they believe Lopez carried out all the attacks. A knife found on him has been sent away for testing.

An additional 500 police officers have been placed on the subway system to guard against any further attacks.

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NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said: “To the victims, to the victims’ families, we are 100% committed to getting justice … to bring closure to the families of this terrible incident.”

Transport bosses called the 500 extra officers “an important first step” but asked for a further 1,000 to be deployed on the subway system and buses to crack down on violence.

In an open letter to the commissioner and mayor Bill de Blasio, transport leaders asked for teams of uniformed officers at every station during the day, and officers on trains at all times they are running.

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