A person of interest in a string of unprovoked stabbings in Queens was taken into custody, New York City police said Wednesday.
By Thursday morning, the person had not been publicly identified, and police declined to explain why the person was a focus of the investigation.
Over nine days, five people were stabbed with a hunting knife in separate incidents in the Jamaica neighborhood, police told reporters Wednesday. Three of the attacks occurred that day in a span of about 30 minutes, police said.
On Jan. 8, at about 6:20 p.m. ET, a 61-year-old man was stabbed in the back, police said. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and said to be stable.
In the early hours of Tuesday, shortly after midnight, a 34-year-old woman was approached from behind while walking home and stabbed on the right side of her torso before escaping on foot. She was taken to a hospital and was stable.
On Wednesday, three men, ages 74, 41 and 36, were all stabbed in separate incidents between 7:29 a.m. and 8 a.m. Two were stabbed in the back and one was stabbed in the abdomen. All three were treated at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and were each stable, police said.
The last of these victims was getting on an MTA bus to work and got into an argument over a seat, according to police, who added the victim and the attacker got off the bus before the stabbing took place.
A possible sixth stabbing on a subway train is being investigated.
Police described the person wanted in the attacks as being 5 feet, 9 inches tall, wearing a dark gray jacket, black pants, black shoes and a blue mask.
The department launched a public campaign for information on the person’s whereabouts and offered a $3,500 reward for tips in the case.