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Ryan Carson stabbing death: NYPD searching for person of interest

NEW YORK — The NYPD has released new information about the fatal stabbing of an activist in Brooklyn.

Officers are searching for a person of interest.

READ MORERyan Carson, social justice advocate, stabbed to death in Crown Heights

Police may be getting one step closer to figuring out who killed 31-year-old Ryan Carson. They now have a better idea of what happened in the moments leading up to this fatal stabbing.

The NYPD released this image of the suspect in the stabbing death of social justice advocate Ryan Carson. 


In video obtained by the New York Post, Carson and a female companion are seen sitting on a bench at a bus stop at around 4 a.m. on Monday in Crown Heights. Police said a male wearing a Champion brand hoodie walks past the couple. There is no interaction between them. The man in the hoodie walks about 40 feet from the couple and suddenly stops.

Investigators say he started kicking mopeds and scooters on the sidewalk and then turned to Carson and said, “What are you looking at?”

Carson is then seen placing himself between the male and his female companion to protect her. Carson tries to de-escalate the situation.

That’s when police say the suspect pulled out a knife and swung at him. Carson is seen tripping and falling to the ground, and the assailant stabs him three times, piercing his heart. He then kicks him, threatens the woman, and spits in her face.

Carson was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Loved ones held a vigil at the scene on Monday night, just steps away from the home he shared with his roommates. Many remembered him for his sense of purpose and his desire to help others.

Carson was known for his activism against opioid overdoses. Over last decade, he worked at New York Public Interest Research Group, most recently dealing with recycling and solid waste. Previously, Carson advocated for safe injection facilities.

“If you wanted to talk, he was absolutely always ready to talk, always there for you,” said New York Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher, who bonded with Carson over losing friends to drug overdoses. “It’s hard when the person that you go to to talk about grief is the one who died.”

“It has been very hard on everyone that knew him. Everybody loves him here,” said Blair Horner, executive director of NYPIRG.

Back at the bus stop where the violence unfolded, straphangers were on edge on Wednesday.

“It frightens me because I have children that travel back and forth for college and work at late hours of the night,” said Suzanne Gailliez of Bushwick.

Police said Wednesday they have a person of interest they are searching for.

“We would never call someone out as being a criminal until we have established probable cause to make an arrest,” an NYPD official said.

Police said they received several leads that brought them to the person of interest.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.  

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