NYPD: Midtown stabbing suspect came from Maryland to kill black men in NYC

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Suspect in Midtown stabbing apparently wanted to kill black people
CeFaan Kim has the story.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police said the man who surrendered Tuesday in connection with the fatal stabbing of a man in Midtown Manhattan traveled to New York City with the intent to attack and kill black men.

Authorities said 28-year-old James Harris Jackson, who is from Maryland, walked into the NYPD substation in Times Square and announced he was wanted in the stabbing of a 66-year-old man that happened 24 hours earlier.

"You need to arrest me," he reportedly told officers inside the substation. "I've got the knife in my coat."

Investigators said two knives were found in his possession -- and the murder weapon is believed to be this 26-inch mini sword:

Detectives believe Jackson has a hatred of black people -- specifically black men. He allegedly wrote a manifesto about attacking African American men on the laptop computer he brought with him to New York City.

The investigation has led to the incident being deemed a hate crime, and police are continuing to look into his background.

"It appears this subject has been harboring these types of feelings for quite some time," Assistant Chief William Aubry said. "Statements he had made, which I'm not going to get specific, it's well over 10 years he has been harboring these feelings of hate towards male blacks."

PHOTOS: Midtown fatal stabbing scene and arrest photos:

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The NYPD said 66-year-old Timothy Caughman was stabbed near the intersection of West 36th Street and Ninth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan on Monday, March 20, 2017.

Police said Jackson traveled via a Bolt Bus from the Baltimore area to NYC Friday. He was staying at a hotel in Midtown and proceeded to wander the city.

Surveillance video obtained by detectives shows him walking closely behind several black men, almost as if he was stalking them, investigators said. Monday night at about 11:30 p.m., when Jackson was wandering near Ninth Avenue and West 36th Street, police said he encountered Timothy Caughman, an African American man, and attacked him.

Caughman was stabbed in the chest and back. The victim then walked more than a block to the Midtown South Precinct, where he collapsed at the front desk.

He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

For the next 24 hours, Jackson stayed in the city. During this time -- and just hours before he'd turn himself in -- the NYPD released surveillance video showing a man run down the sidewalk after the stabbing. Police asked for the public's help to ID him -- and he saw it on TV.

"Thank you to you, for putting his picture out in the media, that's why he turned himself in," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.

Jackson allegedly told police that just before he surrendered he had seen an interracial couple, thought about the two knives he had on him, but ultimately decided to instead turn himself in. He also told detectives he chose to come to New York City because it's the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement.

Here's video of Jackson being walked from the police precinct to an awaiting vehicle:

Watch unedited video showing the Midtown stabbing suspect being walked to a police cruiser at an NYPD precinct.

NYPD has been told the suspect served in the Army for four years, where he was deployed to Afghanistan and Germany, and honorably discharged in 2012. He's being charged with second-degree murder, though it is possible the charges will be upgraded to first-degree murder if the motive is determined to be racially motivated.

Caughman described himself as a "can and bottle recycler, autograph collecter in new york city" on social media. He posted photos with celebrities he met in the city, like Susan Lucci:


Here's an additional report from N.J. Burkett:

NJ Burkett has the latest