New York sword attacker ‘targeted black men’

Timothy CaughmanImage copyright
Timothy Caughman

Image caption

Timothy Caughman was attacked collecting bottles for recycling

A white US Army veteran with a hatred for black people travelled to New York City and confronted a black man before killing him with a sword, police say.

James Harris Jackson, 28, is said to have taken a bus from Baltimore to New York with the intention of targeting black men.

When he came across Timothy Caughman, 66, he allegedly stabbed him in the chest and back.

Mr Caughman was pronounced dead in hospital.

His alleged assailant walked into a Times Square police station about 24 hours later and was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He is said to have told officers that he had harboured feelings of hatred towards black men for at least 10 years.

Coat ‘hid sword

Image copyright

Image caption

James Harris Jackson had considered other attacks, police say

The ex-serviceman is believed to have travelled to New York on 17 March, and booked himself into a Manhattan hotel.

Assistant Chief of Police William Aubry said he had walked the streets in a long coat, which hid the 26in (66cm) sword, and came across Mr Caughman while the victim was collecting bottles for recycling from rubbish bins.

“The reason he picked New York is because it’s the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement,” Mr Aubry said.

Investigators said they believed the suspect was considering other attacks, but surrendered after noticing his photo in media reports. He had been captured on CCTV footage near the crime scene.

‘Safe city’

Mr Caughman’s Twitter profile describes him as a “can and bottle recycler” and autograph collector. His posts show his interest in music and films.

James Harris Jackson served in the US Army from March 2009 to August 2012 and worked as a military intelligence analyst, the army said. He was deployed in Afghanistan from December 2010 to November 2011.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the attack in a statement.

“We are a safe city because we are inclusive. We are a nation of unrivalled strength because we are diverse,” he said.

“No act of violence can undermine who we are.”

New York sword attacker ‘targeted black men’