(NY DAILY NEWS) – A knife-wielding homeless killer savagely executed two helpless victims and wounded two more as he carved a gory path in a 14-hour subway stabbing spree on the A train line from Manhattan to Queens, police said Saturday.
Police pressed a desperate search for the suspect Saturday night in the gruesome and unprovoked attacks on a quartet of homeless victims. “There is small army of detectives and investigators working all this night throughout New York City,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
The second murder victim, a 44-year-old woman found with her clothes soaked in blood, was discovered beneath a seat on a train in the Inwood/207th St. station, the A line’s northern terminus. She was stabbed repeatedly in the abdomen, chest, arm and leg, sources said.
Two more fortunate victims escaped with their lives after they were attacked hours apart inside the 181st St. station in upper Manhattan’s Hudson Heights neighborhood.
The first surviving victim at the 181st St. station was a 67-year-old man who was attacked as he sat on his walker on the subway platform around 11:30 a.m. Friday.
“I’m going to kill you,” the homicidal madman announced as he jabbed the man with a knife in the right knee and buttocks before fleeing, said sources.
The third victim, a woman, was found by MTA police about two hours later early Saturday beneath the seats of another A train at the Inwood/207th St. station at the line’s northern terminus.
She was also knifed multiple times times across her body, and died about an hour after she was found at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, cops said.
The fourth victim and the second survivor was a 21-year-old man who was attacked back at the 181st St. station around 1:28 a.m. Saturday as he slept on station steps, said cops.
The stabbing victim made his way up to the street and staggered to the ATM vestibule of a Chase bank on W. 181st St. near Broadway, where he encountered security guard Luis Pillasagua, 21.
“He fell to his knees, and then that’s when I went to check if everything was all right,” said Pillasagua, who lives in Bedford Park, the Bronx.
Pillasagua went outside the vestibule, and the man spoke to him. “He told me that he had been stabbed,” the security guard said.
“The homeless guy said that he was attacked on the subway, on the A train … I wish I could’ve gotten a better look at his face,” said Pillasagua. “I think he might have been like a homeless guy that frequented the area. I think I might have seen him before.”
“A part of me thinks that maybe he came to the bank because he knew that there was a guard there.”
Cops said there were cameras at the carnage scenes, but acknowledged little information was gleaned about the suspect in the early part of the investigation.
The bloody stabbings drew an immediate and angry response from subway officials, subway riders and Transport Workers Union Local 100.
“The recent horrifying attacks in the subway system are outrageous and unacceptable,” NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg and Local 100 President Tony Utano said Saturday in a joint statement.
“Every customer, and each of our brave, heroic transit workers, deserve a safe and secure transit system.”
Feinberg and Utano called for an immediate increase of police to the sprawling mass transit system after the latest in a rash of violent incidents plaguing city subways in recent weeks.
On Thursday night, construction worker Gino Delacruz-Rodriguez was stabbed in the stomach during an unprovoked attack as he and his girlfriend waited for a train at the Christopher St. station in the West Village. Delacruz-Rodriguez was escorting his girlfriend Julia Calel home.
“Honestly, no one finds the subway stations safe any more,” Calel told the News on Saturday. “It’s just not safe. There needs to be more security, more police … more cameras.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams noted much subway crime is linked to people struggling with mental illness.
“It’s clear that the city’s current approach to subway safety is failing,” he said. “As this recent rash of violent subway crimes shows, far too many people aren’t getting the mental health treatment they need.”