Members of San Diego homeless community are on guard after a string of murders that left two homeless men dead and one man injured during the Fourth of July weekend.
According to the San Diego Police Department, the first incident took place on July 3 when police found a person who had been set on fire between Interstate 5 and train tracks. Police discovered the body of a homeless man, who had died from trauma to the upper torso before being set on fire. He was later identified as Angelo De Nardo, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.
Early morning on July 4, police responded to a 911 call that took them to Ocean Beach, where they also found a man bleeding and suffering from severe “trauma to his upper torso,” according to a bulletin from the police department.
— San Diego Police (@SanDiegoPD) July 4, 2016
The man, believed to be in his 50s or 60s, was transported to the hospital, and is expected to survive, FOX5 reported.
Several hours later, on the same day, San Diego police discovered the body of another man on Bacon Street. He was “bleeding from his upper torso” and also suffered trauma, police said.
Police say that they believe the three cases to be the work of a single suspect, whom police may have identified on footage captured from a gas station surveillance camera. Possible motives for the attack are unknown. The footage was released to the public on Tuesday.
— San Diego Police (@SanDiegoPD) July 5, 2016
On Tuesday, a store clerk told FOX5 that he recognized the man, saying that he sold the man a gas can, gas, and a lighter.
Amid the two killings, San Diego’s homeless community and organizations that work with it are on guard. Police and organizations have been informing the community on the recent string of attacks as well as various ways to stay safe, such as sleeping in groups rather than in seclusion— the latter of which makes one more vulnerable to being targeted.
“I believe that’s how we’re going to solve this case,” San Diego homicide Capt. David Nisleit told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’re going to put that photo in front of someone who knows him.”
“It’s scary to think this could happen to me,” Chris Moton, a homeless man, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We bound together for protection,” added Anthony Jones, 49.
Jones also said that due to the recent events, he’s now sleeping with a weapon on his person.
Authorities have asked anyone with information about the attacks to call police at (619) 531-2293.