'Peaceful' Tribeca Homeless Man Found Dead on Sidewalk Where He Slept

The body of a homeless man lay beneath his blankets outside Chipotle in Tribeca Sunday evening, March 13. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Mar. 14, 2022

UPDATE 3/15/22, 7:30 a.m. A suspect was arrested early Tuesday morning in the shootings of at least five homeless men in Washington, DC, and New York City, the Washington, DC Police Department tweeted.

UPDATE 3/14/22, 11 P.M. Police have ruled out homicide in the death of the homeless man, who friends identified as Chuck Daley, a former tatoo artist from New Jersey. "He succumed to other medical conditions," NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said, without elaborating.

Police on Sunday evening were investigating the death of a homeless man who for years slept outside Chipotle on Murray Street, near the corner of Greenwich. Police say the man, 43, was last seen alive at 6:15 Sunday evening, and was discovered dead about 15 minutes later, with a puncture wound to the leg. 

The medical examiner’s office, as of Monday morning, had yet to release the cause of death. 

On March 12, two homeless men sleeping on the street in Soho were shot, one fatally. The first man was wounded in the arm at abut 4:30 a.m. on King Street, near Varick. The second was found dead, shot in the neck and head, that afternoon around 5 p.m. at 148 Lafayette St, just north of Canal. Witnesses had reported hearing gunshots at about 6 a.m. that morning, police said.

The Daily News reported on Monday that the Medical Examiner found this most recent death, in Tribeca, was not the result of a gunshot wound. Whether it will be declared a homicide is yet unknown. The Chief Medical Examiners office did not return the Tribs request for comment.

Authorities believe that one suspect targeted the men in Soho as well as three others who were shot in Washington, DC, just days before. One of those victims also died.

Police had approached the homeless man outside the Tribeca Chipotle at 6 a.m. Sunday morning to offer him water and warn him of the previous shootings, a police source said. The outreach was part of a city-wide NYPD effort to alert people living on the streets of the danger and offer shelter from the frigid weather. Police were also looking for other possible victims.

In the evening, a person worried about the condition of the man outside Chipotle alerted police, who found blood and what appeared to be a puncture wound, the police source said.

Laurence Ketchmer, who lives nearby, said he has seen the man in the same spot for the 3 1/2 years he has lived in the neighborhood, and walked by him “every single day.” “He never said a word to anybody. Never had his hand out. He was the epitome of peacefulness,” said Ketchmer, 56.

“He sat there reading a book,” said another neighbor.

“Our homeless population is one of our most vulnerable and an individual preying on them as they sleep is an exceptionally heinous crime,” Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said in a statement. “We will use every tool, every technique and every partner to bring the killer to justice.” 

Washington, DC police and NYPD released images of the suspect in the five shootings. Anyone who can identify this individual or who has knowledge of those incidents are asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).