James Harris Jackson walked into a Times Square police substation Wednesday (March 23) and said "I’m the person you’re looking for,” before being arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a black man. Jackson, a Baltimore resident, told law enforcement his intent was to kill African-American men.
According to Manhattan South Detectives Assistant Chief William Aubrey, The 28-year-old Army veteran was forthcoming about his plans. Jackson took a bus from Maryland to New York City on March 17, and randomly confronted 66-year-old Timothy Caughman before stabbing him several times in the back with a 26-inch sword that had an 18-inch blade. Video surveillance shows Jackson later fleeing the crime scene. Jackson told detectives he discarded the murder weapon in a nearby garbage can before entering a local dinner to wash off the blood.
Caughman, who was collecting cans at the time, later stumbled into the Midtown South Precinct. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he died from his injuries. Jackson's simmering hate for black men has been a decade in the making, Aubrey said, and boiled over the night he stabbed Caughman.
Jackson also told authorities he journeyed to New York City because it's the media capital and he wanted to make a statement. However, seeing images of himself from a security camera broadcasted across the news motivated him to turn himself in. Although Jackson's been formally charged, Aubrey is looking to add a hate crime or a racially motivated crime to upgrade the charges to first-degree murder.
"He knew what he was doing when he was coming up here," Aubry said. "We're fortunate it stopped at one and it wasn't more."