NYPD Questioning Person Of Interest In Series Of Subway Stabbings

Sources told CBS2 the person of interest, who police have been questioning since late Saturday night, is expected to be placed in a lineup for one of the surviving witnesses to identify. CBS2's Christina Fan reports.

Video Transcript

CINDY HSU: Now to a developing story. Police say they are questioning a person of interest in the string of subway stabbings-- two of them deadly. "CBS News" Christina Fan joins us live from Washington Heights with more. Good morning, Christina.

CHRISTINA FAN: Good morning, Cindy. The four victims who were stabbed were all homeless. And police are looking into the possibility all the attacks were committed by the same person. Detectives are currently interviewing a person of interest here at the 34th precinct since late last night. And sources tell us that he is expected to be placed in a lineup for one of the surviving victims to try and identify.

Four attacks, two of them deadly, all connected to A train subway line stretching from Manhattan to Queens. This man, who did not want to be identified, says one of the victims staggered to him for help Saturday morning near the Fort Washington station, covered in blood.

- It was multiple stab wounds in the back. And he was, like, gushing blood. And as soon as I went to, like, ask him, like, he fell to the floor, and he was, like, unresponsive. So I called the police.

CHRISTINA FAN: The NYPD says the 43-year-old victim was the last of four homeless people attacked within 14 hours. Detectives believe the suspect's violent rampage started Friday morning at the same Fort Washington station. The first victim, a 67-year-old man, said his attacker told him, quote, "you are going to die."

Then 12 hours later, a second victim was stabbed, this time, to death on a train at the Mott Avenue Far Rockaway station. Two hours after that, a third attack happened inside an A train at the 207th Street Station in Washington Heights.

Sources say 44-year-old Claudine Roberts did not survive. Her family members spoke with us through the window of her Brooklyn apartment.

- Claudine was a quiet girl. She don't talk. She don't keep friends. I can't deal with this. I can't deal with this.

CHRISTINA FAN: The four total incidents have led to an increase in police presence.

DERMONT SHEA: We will immediately commence a surge of officers to patrol both above and below ground. This surge will result in an additional 500 officers.

- And it has never been so bad that now I'm really scared to go on my own.

CHRISTINA FAN: Meantime, this witness is thankful the man he helped will recover. But he hopes whoever is responsible is caught soon.

- I hope they find whoever did this I guess. It was just something that shouldn't happen.

CHRISTINA FAN: And police say no charges have been filed yet against the person they currently have in custody. The MTA said in a statement that while adding 500 more officers to the transit system is a good first step, they are still asking and pleading for more mental health assistance. We're live in Washington Heights, Christina Fan, "CBS 2 News."

CINDY HSU: Christina, thank you.