On Tuesday, a 28-year-old man walked into the NYPD substation in Times Square and told police that they should arrest him for the fatal stabbing of a 66-year-old African-American man in Manhattan the previous night. The self-declared murderer described himself as a white supremacist who had come to the city with the goal of murdering black men.
According to police, the suspect, James Harris Jackson, traveled to New York City from Maryland on Friday with what Jackson said was the plan to kill African Americans.
"You need to arrest me," he told officers, according to reports. "I've got the knife in my coat."
When authorities searched him, they found two knives. Jackson also told them where they could find the murder weapon he had discarded after the attack: a 26-inch Roman gladius-style short sword (pictured below, courtesy NYPD).
ABC News reports that Jackson told police that he was a member of a white supremacist group and had outlined his racist "desire and plans" in a "manifesto" he planned to deliver to The New York Times. Police, who are waiting for a search warrant to examine the content of his laptop which allegedly contains the manifesto, say they are still trying to fully understand his motives and learn more about his background, including mental health and criminal records.
The fatal stabbing took place late Monday evening. Police believe Jackson arrived in the city on Friday, staying at The Hotel @ Times Square, roaming the city for the next few days. Investigators say surveillance footage shows him following several black men, apparently stalking them.
At approximately 11:15 p.m. Monday, Jackson encountered Timothy Caughman, a homeless African-American man, near Ninth Avenue and West 36th Street. Investigators believe that Jackson then stabbed Caughman, who was wounded in the chest and back.
"The assailant argued with Mr. Caughman before stabbing the victim, according to the police, who declined to say what words they exchanged," the Times reports. "After the attack, Mr. Jackson, the police said, threw the sword in a nearby garbage can and went into a restaurant restroom to wash the blood off."
Despite his ultimately fatal wounds, Caughman managed to walk two blocks to the NYPD's Midtown South Precinct, where he finally collapsed at the front desk. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Though police arrested Jackson for second-degree murder, the Times notes that the NYPD police chief says they want to upgrade the charge by classifying it as a hate crime.