(CNN) — Four homeless men have been killed — and a fifth injured — around Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood in what investigators believe were attacks that began while they were sleeping, New York City police said Saturday.
A suspect — a 24-year-old man who investigators believe also is homeless — is in custody, New York police Detective Annette Shelton said.
Investigators believe the victims, found early Saturday in three locations in or near Chinatown, were hit with a metal pipe as they slept, police said
Police were scouring the crime scenes Saturday morning. Details about what led to the attacks weren’t immediately available.
The grisly discoveries began around 2 a.m., when someone called 911 to report an assault near a building in Chinatown, police said.
The officers found a man’s body in the street and were approached by an injured 49-year-old man, according to police.
Two witnesses told police a man with black jacket and black pants struck the victims numerous times with a metal object, police said Saturday at a news conference.
Officers started searching the area and found a man matching the attacker’s description about a quarter-mile away, police said.
The injured man was taken to a Manhattan hospital in critical condition, Shelton said.
Later Saturday morning, officers found three other dead men along Broadway in or near Chinatown, police said.