WASHINGTON - Washington police arrested a suspect on Tuesday over the shooting of five homeless men in the US capital and in New York, officials said.

Two men were killed and three wounded in the shootings that took place over the past 10 days, with Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and her New York counterpart Eric Adams calling the perpetrator a “cold-blooded killer.” Police said the suspect in the shootings was being interviewed.

Authorities had offered large cash rewards for information that led to the killer’s arrest, with police releasing images of a shaven-headed and bearded male suspect dressed all in black.

The first shooting took place in the early hours of March 3 in northeast Washington. The victim was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to officials.

A second homeless man was shot and wounded five days later, also in northeast Washington, police said. He also suffered non-life-threatening wounds. The next day, a homeless man was found dead in northeast Washington with stab and gunshot wounds, police said. His tent, where he had been living, had caught fire.

On Saturday, a 38-year-old man was shot in the arm in Lower Manhattan, New York, during the night, police said. About a half-hour later, police found the lifeless body of another man in a sleeping bag in the same neighborhood. He had been shot in the head and neck.

New York police commissioner Keechant Sewell decried the attacks.

“Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable and an individual preying on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime,” Sewell said earlier this week.

Bowser on Monday said a $70,000 reward had been offered for information leading to an arrest -- $25,000 by the Washington police, $25,000 by the New York police and $20,000 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Adams, the New York mayor, said before the arrest that the gunman was “carrying out a premeditated act, shooting innocent people” and the series of attacks were “cold-blooded.”

Officials had urged tens of thousands of homeless people to seek shelter. New York and Washington homeless population has grown in recent years.

In October 2019, a homeless man wielding a metal pipe beat four other homeless people to death in New York and left a fifth man in critical condition.

Adams announced a plan just weeks after taking office in January to move homeless people out of the city’s vast subway system, where many sleep on frigid nights.

But it drew sharp criticism from non-government organizations, who said that in the absence of housing subway is the place where homeless New Yorkers feel the most safe.