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

Man charged in brutal beating of homeless men
Man faces 4 counts of murder in brutal beating of homeless men in NYC 02:37

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 numerous counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

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. During his interrogation with police, Santos was shown footage of the assaults and admitted he was the person in the video.

Randy Rodriguez Santos
Police officers escort Randy Rodriguez Santos from the 5th Precinct to a vehicle bound for a hospital for evidence collection, Saturday, October 5, 2019, in New York. AP

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. Prosecutors said that Santos was arrested while holding the murder weapon that was covered in blood and hair. Santos used a Spanish interpreter in court and did not enter a plea during his arraignment. He returns to court October 11.

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.

Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782.

Justin Carissimo contributed to this report.

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