White US army veteran killed random black man with a sword after deciding to commit racist attack

The attack was a calculated assault on the diversity of New York, police said, and happened on the same day as the incident in Westminster

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 23 March 2017 12:51 GMT
CCTV shows James Harris Jackson running moments after stabbing Timothy Caughman

A white US army veteran killed a man in New York after travelling there specifically to kill black people, according to police.

James Harris Jackson chose a man at random and killed him with a sword, according to police. The attack was intended as "an assault" on the city's inclusiveness and diversity, authorities said.

The man from Baltimore turned himself in at a Times Square police station, about 25 hours after he had killed Timothy Caughman, who had staggered into a precinct bleeding to death.

"I'm the person that you're looking for," Jackson told police, according to Assistant Chief William Aubrey.

Jackson told police that he had been harbouring feelings of hatred towards black men for at least 10 years after he was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He had travelled to New York before the weekend and had been staying in a Manhattan hotel in anticipation of the attack, police said.

"The reason he picked New York is because it is the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement," Mr Aubrey said.

Jackson wandered the streets in a long black coat, carrying a 26-inch sword. He then encountered Mr Caughman, who was collecting bottles from rubbish bins, according to police.

He was stabbed repeatedly in the chest and back, apparently at random.

Mr Caughman was 66 years old and lived nearby. He was taken to hospital by police after he arrived at the station, and later died in hospital from his wounds.

Mr Caughman had an active Twitter account, on which he wrote about being an autograph collector and posted about the films and music that he was interested in. Recent tweets shared his enthusiasm for John Lennon, Chuck Berry and St Patrick’s day writing.

Investigators say that Jackson appeared to have been considering other attacks. But he surrendered after he realised that his photo was being passed around in media reports.

He may even have attempted an attack earlier on, according to authorities. Video surveillance showed him walking purposefully towards a black man but not attacking him.

The attack took place on the same day as the incident in Westminster, in the UK. The New York Police Department has seen increased security and the introduction of "heavy weapons" to UK-related locations in the city.

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