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Man Arrested For Killing, Assaulting Several Homeless Men In San Diego

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A man suspected of killing three homeless men and injuring two others in San Diego has been arrested, police say.The San Diego Union Tribune reports that S.D. police detained a man that appeared to be specifically targeting homeless men, who are asleep and alone, by either beating them, setting them on fire, or a combination of the two.

"If it is our guy, we're going to feel very relieved," police Capt. David Nisleit told the Union Tribune. "We've been working around the clock."

The body of the first victim, 53-year-old Angelo De Nardo, was found on July 3; he had been wounded and set on fire. The following day, Manuel Mason, 61, was found injured, but is expected to survive. One hour after the discovery of Mason, the body of Shawn Longley, 41, was found. He had been beaten to death. Two days after that, witnesses saw someone ignite a blanket and throw it on top of 23-year-old homeless man Dionicio Derek Vahidy, setting him on fire. Vahidy later died of his injuries.

According to KTLA, two more homeless men were attacked in San Diego early Friday morning, also believed to be the work of the same suspect. One man in downtown San Diego was hit on the head with an unknown object by a person on a bicycle, and the other was found bleeding from a severe chest wound under a freeway overpass.

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Last week, San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said the suspect's "evil acts of violence are some of the worst I've seen in my 34 years in law enforcement." Even the FBI was called in to aid in the investigation.

This map compiled by NBC San Diego tracks where the attacks took place. As you can see, they took place from downtown's trendy Gaslamp Quarter—close to where Petco Park and tons of breweries are, to the popular Mission Bay/Ocean Beach areas.

Michael McConnell, a homeless advocacy worker, told the Union Tribune that violence against the homeless is generally on the rise, asking, "How much of it is driven by the negative perception we have toward these people? How do you gauge that?"

Meanwhile, ahead of last week's MLB All-Star game at Petco Park, San Diego city officials decided to install jagged rocks near the baseball stadium to deter the congregation of homeless folk.