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Father of man accused of attacking homeless in DC and NYC ‘crushed’ about arrest

Father of man accused of attacking homeless in DC and NYC ‘crushed’ about arrest
Gerald Brevard III arrested for allegedly shooting multiple homeless people

The father of the man arrested for the shooting of multiple homeless men in Washington DC and New York says he is ‘crushed’ at the allegations facing his son.

Gerald Brevard III was taken into custody in Washington DC on Tuesday and his father, Gerald Brevard Jr, told The Daily Beast that he was stunned at the violence that had unfolded.

“This has all come as a surprise. I never thought he would be violent. He was always mild-mannered,”said Mr Brevard Jr, who lives in Las Vegas.

Mr Brevard III was unarmed when he was apprehended in the nation’s capital and he is now facing a number of charges, including first degree murder in the killing of 54-year-old Morgan Holmes, with more charges possibly to follow stemming from incidents in New York.

Police have connected five shooting incidents, two of them fatal, to the suspect they believe to be Mr Brevard III.

Washington DC police chief Robert Contee said that police have not yet found the firearm they believe was used in the shootings, nor do they know of any motive. Mr Contee said he did not believe that Mr Brevard III knew any of the victims.

Mr Brevard Jr, told The Daily Beast that he spoke with his son on Monday, just a day before his arrest, but that they did not discuss anything out of the ordinary.

“It was a normal conversation,” Mr Brevard Jr said. “But he was dealing with mental illness for the longest time. He has been in and out of mental hospitals.”

Mr Brevard III has a long criminal history including arrests for assault, but there is significant documented history of his struggles with mental illness as well.

He was found mentally incompetent and committed to a city psychiatric hospital in 2019, and Dr Barbara Bazron, director of the Department of Behavioral Health in Washington, said that Mr Brevard III had sought mental health services from the city in the past.

For now, his family, and the families of his alleged victims, are reeling from the spate of shootings that terrorised the homeless communities of Washington and New York and prompted a major mobilization from the police departments and leaders of both cities.

“I would never expect this at all from Gerald,” Mr Brevard’s cousin, Dearell Brevard, told The Daily Beast.