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What to Know

  • The suspect in a vicious midtown stabbing told police he specifically traveled to NYC to attack black people, authorities say
  • James Harris Jackson, 28, turned himself into police Wednesday at the same station his 66-year-old victim sought help two days earlier
  • The Maryland resident served in the military and was deployed to Afghanistan, according to records

The suspect in a fatal Manhattan stabbing of a 66-year-old man told detectives he specifically traveled to New York City to attack black people, police say.

James Harris Jackson, a 28-year-old white man, told police officers that he chose New York City because of its reputation as "the media capital of the world", NYPD's Chief of Detective for Manhattan William Aubrey said at an afternoon press conference Wednesday.

"He knew what he was doing when he was coming up here," Aubrey said. "It makes sense when you realize what he was here to do and where he came from in the last 36 hours."

Aubrey said Jackson's recent actions and information from interviews led police to believe the crime was "clearly racially motivated." NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill called the killing "extremely distressing."

Jackson was arrested on a second-degree murder charge, but officials want to upgrade the charge levied against him to hate crime and first-degree murder charges, authorities said.

Police say Timothy Caughman was going through garbage near 36th street and Ninth Avenue when Jackson allegedly stabbed him in the back several times around 11:15 p.m. Monday. The New Yorker walked into the nearby Midtown South police station on West 35th Street for help.

He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he later died, authorities said. No one else was attacked.

Police recovered a 26-inch mini sword, which they believe to be the weapon used in the stabbing, authorities said.

Two days after the stabbing, authorities said Jackson walked into the same station house just after midnight and allegedly told officers "I'm the person you're looking for" after a uniformed station officer recognized him from a wanted flyer.

He allegedly boarded a New York City-bound Bolt Bus from Baltimore Friday and booked a room at a Midtown hotel from Friday to Monday afternoon, police said. Following the stabbing, he wandered through the city before deciding to turn himself in.

The Maryland resident had been harboring feelings of hate toward black people for "over 10 years," police said.

Authorities said detectives connected Jackson to the crime using surveillance video and subject interviews. 

Jackson served in the military and was deployed to Afghanistan, according to records.

NYPD detectives are looking at his social media accounts and speaking to family members and associates in Maryland as they continue to investigate.

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