Baltimore man charged with murder as a hate crime in NYC stabbing of black man

James Jackson was arriagned Thursday
Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 22:23:25-04

Baltimore Police have been posted outside James Jackson's Hampden home since Wednesday.  Department officials say they're securing the house until a search warrant is executed.

So far, the 28-year-old has not been connected to any crimes in Charm City.

"Shocked, I had no idea there was anybody like that living around here," said neighbor Joan Bolling.

New York City Police say Jackson repeatedly stabbed Timothy Caughman in the back and chest in Midtown Manhattan Monday night.  The 66-year-old died from the vicious attack.

24-hours later, Jackson turned himself into police and confessed.

"The reason why he picked New York, it's cuz it's the media capital of the world,” NYPD Assistant Chief William Aubry said.  “And he wanted to make a statement."

Investigators say Jackson told detectives he used a 26-inch mini sword in the random, hate-filled attack, and he had other knives on him.

According to police, the clearly racially motivated mission had been brewing for years.

"Based on certain information, it appears that this subject has been harboring these types of feelings for quite some time, in statements that he made, which I am not going to get specific to, it's well over ten years that he has been harboring these feelings of hate towards male blacks," said Aubry.

Thursday, Jackson’s second degree murder charged was upgraded to murder as a hate crime.  During his arraignment, a prosecutor said Jackson wanted to "kill as many black men" in New York as he could, and that he was "motivated purely by hatred." She says he was angered in particular by black men who date white women.

Back on Jackson’s block in Baltimore, neighbors say the crime is despicable.

"It's scary, shocking, disgusting, infuriating," Nick Calhoun said.

The NYPD has detectives in town speaking with family and people who know Jackson to learn more about his background, and figure out his motive for the ambush.

Investigators say Jackson is an Army veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan, and detectives are looking into possible mental health issues.

People who live in Hampden are stunned.

"I think it's horrible, we're all trying to get along in this world and if you don't like it, keep it to yourself, don't go out and strike against other people," Bolling said.

"I think it's obviously terrible and I hope it's not part of like a sort of rising wave of this kind of stuff," said Cameran Kyle-Sidell.

The Jackson family released a statement Thursday, it reads:

"Our family is shocked, horrified, and heartbroken by this tragedy.  We extend our prayers and condolences to the family of Timothy Caughman."