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Homeless Brooklyn man charged in subway stabbing deaths

Extra NYPD officers were assigned to patrol the

Extra NYPD officers were assigned to patrol the subways after the stabbing deaths.  Credit: AP/Bebeto Matthews

A homeless Brooklyn man accused of fatally stabbing two people and injuring two others in less than 24 hours on the New York City subway system’s A line has been charged with first-degree murder, the NYPD said Sunday.

Rigoberto Lopez, 21, has also been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder, officials said. Lopez had been living in a hotel on Butler Street in Gowanus that had been converted into a homeless shelter.

Police say all four victims were homeless.

Lopez was detained Saturday after NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea deployed an additional 500 police officers to focus on the subway system.

Kathy O’Reilly, the NYPD’s chief of transit, said the attacks were probably linked.

O'Reilly said the first attack occurred Friday morning at the 181st Street subway station in upper Manhattan, where a 67-year-old was stabbed by a male assailant. The victim survived.

The next attack was at 11:29 p.m., when a man was pronounced dead aboard an A train at the Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue station in Queens, with stab wounds to his neck and torso.

Two hours later, an unconscious 44-year-old woman was found on a northbound train at the 207th Street station in Inwood in Manhattan with multiple stab wounds and later pronounced dead. The victim was identified Sunday as Claudine Roberts of Brooklyn.

Then, at 1:28 a.m. Saturday, at the 181st Street station in Manhattan, a 43-year-old was stabbed but survived.

The victims were found aboard trains and at subway stations, police said. Officials said they believed the attacks were unprovoked.

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