A white man who traveled to New York City to harm black people turned himself in with knives in his pocket at a Manhattan police station on Wednesday, police said, a day after police say he fatally stabbed a black man in an attack on a sidewalk.
James Harris Jackson, 28, told police he left his home in Baltimore on Friday and took the bus to Manhattan "because it is the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement," Bill Aubrey, a deputy chief at the New York Police Department, told reporters.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio discussed the attack. “An innocent man was stabbed to death in what appears to be an unprovoked attack prompted by the victim’s race. More than an unspeakable human tragedy, this is an assault on what makes this the greatest city in the world: our inclusiveness and our diversity," the mayor said. De Blasio called New York "a safe city because we are inclusive. We are a nation of unrivaled strength because we are diverse. No act of violence can undermine who we are.”
On Monday night, Jackson crossed paths with Timothy Caughman, a black man who was rummaging through garbage on a sidewalk in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, according to the police account.
A few minutes later, Caughman, 66, staggered into a nearby police station, bleeding from stab wounds to his chest and back. Caughman was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.
Jackson turned himself in at a police station in Times Square soon after midnight on Wednesday and was arrested for murder, police said. He had seen images circulated by police from surveillance cameras showing him at the scene, dressed in a black coat, his blond hair combed to one side, police said.
"He said that 'I'm the person that you're looking for,' and he had knives in his pocket," Aubrey told reporters at a new conference at the police department's headquarters on Wednesday afternoon. "It was revealed that the attack on Timothy Caughman was clearly racially motivated. It is believed that he was specifically intending to target male blacks."
Jackson served in the U.S. military in Afghanistan, police said.
Jackson was in police custody on Wednesday afternoon awaiting a court appearance and could not be reached for comment.
Metro contributed to this report.