Army veteran suspected in stabbing went to New York to 'target black males,' say police

Authorities said the 28-year-old was an Army veteran from Maryland.

ByABC News
March 22, 2017, 6:56 PM

— -- The fatal stabbing of a 66-year-old man in New York City on Monday night is being investigated as a bias crime, according to police.

Authorities today identified the suspect as James Harris Jackson, 28, of Maryland, an Army veteran who'd served in Afghanistan.

Assistant Chief Bill Aubry said that Jackson has a deep-seated hatred of black people. Police say he allegedly wrote a manifesto about attacking blacks in New York City.

"It is believed that he was specifically intending to target male blacks for assault," he said. "The reason why he picked New York is because it's the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement."

He is in custody and is being charged with murder, police said. Jackson has not yet entered a plea and is expected to be arraigned this evening.

Police said Jackson had been harboring these feelings toward black males for more than 10 years.

"Based on statements that he made, the subject, as well as a preliminary review of video, it reveals that the attack on [victim] Timothy Caughman was clearly racially motivated," Aubry said during a news conference today.

Aubry said Jackson arrived from Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday via BoltBus and then stayed at a Midtown hotel from Friday to Monday afternoon. Aubry said video surveillance footage had captured Jackson wandering through the city.

Police said the fatal stabbing occurred around 11:15 p.m. Monday, as Caughman, a can and bottle recycler, was rifling through the trash.

Police said Jackson walked into a police substation in Times Square a little after midnight today, allegedly saying that he was wanted for a murder that had occurred 24 hours earlier.

Knives were found in his possession, police said. Aubry said police had recovered a 26-inch black mini sword, which investigators believe to be the murder weapon. Aubry said that Jackson did not attack anyone else.

Police said Caughman walked more than a block to a police precinct before collapsing. He was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital.

Aubry said that Jackson is still being questioned by police. Aubry said authorities are working to upgrade charges to a possible hate crime or racially motivated crime.

ABC News' Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

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