Serial stabbing suspect who targeted sleeping homeless men in Manhattan cuffed

Police have apprehended the man they believe to be responsible for a string of stabbings targeting homeless individuals throughout Manhattan, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday.

Forty-year-old Trevon Murphy had allegedly been plaguing the city, stabbing sleeping, unhoused individuals, killing one man inside Hudson River Park and wounding two others.

Police received a report from a retired correctional officer identifying the suspect by his neon sneakers and outfit from NYPD surveillance photos at West 128th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem. Responding officers arrived at the scene, apprehending the suspect without incident. 

Mayor Eric Adams, Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell, Assistant Chief Joseph Kenny, NYPD executives and Departmnent of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins discussed the arrest of Trevon Murphy. Photo by Dean Moses

Murphy was known to police due to an outstanding a warrant for narcotics use from Tennessee and for assaulting a sleeping homeless person in a shelter in Queens this spring.

Even so, Sewell stated, he was out on the streets this summer, doing harm to New Yorkers.

“​​But once again, this is a story we have told many times before. This suspect should not have been on our streets. He was already convicted in Tennessee and given probation, which he violated and he was wanted on an outstanding warrant for that violation. Additionally, Mr. Murphy was released on his own recognizance after he attacked a roommate in Queens back in April. He was due back in court on July 22. Just days from now. This man was preying on the vulnerable and we are thankful for the combined effort to apprehend this subject quickly and safely,” Sewell said. 

Mayor Eric Adams used this incident to underscore what he calls an imperative initiative to remove the homeless off the subways and streets into shelters and eventually permanent housing.

Trevon Murphy was arrested and charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder, and two counts of assault. Photo by Dean Moses

“For too long, folks living on the street have been subjected to extreme violence simply because they are experiencing homelessness. Let me be clear, every New Yorker, regardless of housing status, deserves to feel safe in our great city,” Adams said. 

Adams reinforced his aggressive approach on sweeps, boasting that the initiative has helped 1,700 unhoused individuals.

Murphy kept his head bowed as detectives led him out of the 6th Precinct in shackles around his ankles and cuffs on his wrists.

amNewYork Metro questioned Murphy, asking why he performed the brutal stabbings?

Murphy admitted to the attacks, replying: “Because of what they done to me!” This leads to speculation regarding if Murphy knew or had a relationship with the victims. When amNewYork Metro asked Police Commissioner Sewell if this was the case, she stated that it is a part or the ongoing investigation.

Trevon Murphy, 40, was arrested on July 13. Photo by Dean Moses