21-Year-Old Facing Murder Charges For Stabbings On A Train Subway Line

CBS2's Dave Carlin has more on the arrest of Rigoberto Lopez.

Video Transcript

JESSICA MOORE: Suspect in the subway stabbing spree that left two people dead is in custody tonight. CBS2's Dave Carlin live in midtown with more on this developing story. Dave?

DAVE CARLIN: Jessica we have more officers guarding stations like right over there and across the city. Now we have a suspect caught and charged, but there is still fear.

Inside this NYPD car the 34th precinct station house was 21-year-old Rigoberto Lopez. Delivered to a suspect lineup and then to central booking. Lopez, who is believed to be homeless, was charged Sunday afternoon with murder and attempted murder.

Police say Saturday night two officers who had seen a suspect image from surveillance video recognized Lopez wearing bloodstained clothing walking on Audubon Avenue and Washington Heights. Officers say on him they found a knife and they believe it was used in the four stabbings, two of them fatal. All of them along the A subway line between upper Manhattan and Far Rockaway Queens within a span of 14 hours. All the victims homeless and the attacks unprovoked, say police.

The first attack was Friday morning at the 181st Street stop. A 67-year-old man who uses a walker to get around was stabbed and he survived. 12 hours later a 40-year-old man was found dead inside a train at the far end of the line in Far Rockaway. Less than two hours later at the 207th Street stop 44-year-old Claudine Roberts was stabbed and killed. The fourth victim is a 43-year-old man who survived after being stabbed back at the 181st Street Station.

NYPD added 500 uniformed officers to patrol this city. The extra officers are seen as crucial, but some say it must be a first step of many. Politicians and union leaders gathered Sunday in Brooklyn to demand better policing, mental health services and affordable housing. Some are also pushing for the reopening of 24 hour subway service.

EARL PHILLIPS: Let's get more, you know, cops in the subway system and crime will come down. Crime will come down. You know, then if you need another agency to take care of these people that have a mental health issue.

DAVE CARLIN: Police say Lopez has prior arrests, some for violent offenses, and that he has a history of mental illness and was hospitalized for it at least twice. He is awaiting his arraignment.

The MTA and transit are pushing the NYPD to add more officers, 1,000 more on top of the 500. Live in midtown. Dave Carlin, CBS2 News.

JESSICA MOORE: All right, Dave. Thank you.