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NYC stabbing spree suspect charged with attempted murder after wounding at least 5, NYPD says

Man accused in series of stabbings across NYC waiting to face judge
Man accused in series of stabbings across NYC waiting to face judge 02:17

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams and the NYPD commissioner are praising members of the city's police force for quickly nabbing a suspected serial stabber

The suspect is accused of attacking five people, and is being linked to a possible sixth case. 

Top police brass also reiterated Wednesday just how random each stabbing was, saying no two victims share a commonality. 

Wearing a white Tyvek jumpsuit, 27-year-old Jermain Rigueur remained silent as he walked out of the 113th police precinct Thursday afternoon and was transported to court for arraignment on multiple counts of attempted murder.

Authorities allege he's the man who went on a random stabbing spree, mostly in Queens, injuring at least four people in nine days, and also linking him to a stabbing in Brooklyn Wednesday morning. 

"Thank God we have no one who lost his or her life, but it did send real fears throughout our city," Adams said. "Didn't appear as if he was looking to stop anytime soon." 

Detectives said Riguer just moved to Queens from Suffolk County, Long Island, and was living with roommates inside a Springfield Gardens home. 

NYPD, Mayor Adams update arrest of NYC serial stabbing suspect 23:47

NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said police were able to track him down after a tip came in to them once they issued a citywide manhunt and released photos of the suspect holding a knife. 

"We are pleased to say this particular threat has ended. A violent criminal is off the streets because of good old-fashioned police work," Caban said.

Authorities credited nearly 1,000 interviews and interactions police had with witnesses and New Yorkers. The police tip line also helped. 

"We're standing here as the executive of the city and the leaders of the police department, but the real credit goes out to the men and women knocking on doors, probably 1,000 interviews and interactions with New Yorkers, tip hotlines from New Yorkers who saw the photos that went out to assist us," Adams said. 

"Ultimately, it came down to basic detective work -- chasing down leads, knocking on doors. It was about walking through neighborhoods and talking to people, interviewing witnesses, and canvassing video," Caban said. "And through it all, remain focused on one thing: ending this threat."

CBS News law enforcement contributor Richard Esposito says the NYPD acted quickly.

"They established the victims didn't know each other. They established there was no robbery. So they knew they had someone who was, in essence, a serial stabber on their hands," he said.

A woman named Michelle said police came to her home. She lives a few houses away from the suspect. 

"The 113[th precinct] did a great job. They had their people out here, knocking on doors, asking the questions they needed to ask," she said. 

"It's, like, 20 feet away," neighbor Dave Alexander said. "Not in your wildest dreams do you think something like this would happen." 

NYPD briefing on stabbing spree suspect 09:37

Police said Rigueur has no prior arrests or history of mental health issues, adding he worked at Woodhull Hospital as a patient greeter. He was seen in surveillance images wearing his hospital ID with a lanyard attached to it. 

Dr. Mitch Katz, NYC Health + Hospitals CEO, said the suspect passed a background check, adding that he is now on administrative leave. 

"He completed a background check, and as you heard from the police chief, he had no priors. So even though we do fingerprinting, his record was clear. He passed the background check," Katz said. "He has only worked for us since mid-November. He never worked independently at Woodhull. He was still 100% being observed as part of his orientation. His job was greeting patients as they came in and directing them to the appropriate place."One victim told CBS2's Natalie Duddridge over the phone that Rigueur said nothing before stabbing him. Police said they still don't know why he wanted to cause this chaos. 

"If you look at these victims, they range from members of the African-American community, members of the Hispanic community, men and women. So we don't think he was targeting anyone specifically," NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said. 

Police also said Rigueur indicated he had a weapon, a hunting knife, in his backpack, but they haven't seen it yet, since they are still waiting on a search warrant. 

NYPD shares new details about Queens stabbing spree 03:06

"It's scary. I didn't know that he was ... I thought he was maybe down farther. I didn't know he was right in our area," one neighbor said. "I'm so happy that they caught him."

Investigators said the first attack happened on Jan. 8, when a 61-year-old was stabbed in the lower back on 137th Avenue near 157th Street.

"In this incident, the suspect actually laughed in the victim's face after he stabbed him," NYPD Chief of Detectives Joe Kenny said Wednesday. 

Then on Tuesday, a 34-year-old woman was getting off a bus at Guy Brewer Boulevard and 134th Avenue when she said a man speaking gibberish approached her. 

At that same location Wednesday morning, police said a 74-year-old man taking his wife to work was stabbed in the back. 

Police said the suspect went on to stab two other victims within the same hour. First, a 41-year-old around the corner on 161st Street, and then a 36-year-old man who got into an argument with the suspect over a seat on an MTA bus near Archer and Parsons.

"I saw him coming, and he saw me, too, when I passed him. I looked him in the face, and I passed him. And when I passed him, then he stabbed me," the 41-year-old victim, Amara Kourouma, told CBS New York's Natalie Duddridge. 

All five victims are expected to survive.

The wife of one of the victims, a 71-year-old man, told CBS New York her husband is recovering after undergoing surgery Thursday.

Investigators believe the suspect is also linked to a sixth stabbing Wednesday on the J train in Brooklyn, but charges have yet to be filed in that case.

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