Anthony Alexander Padgett has been accused in a series of horrendous killings and attacks on homeless men in San Diego. Padgett was arrested Thursday and was charged with three counts of murder and of one attempted murder. Anthony Padgett is accused of beating and setting the men on fire but was released by San Diego police for insufficient evidence.
According to San Diego County District Attorney's office announced that Anthony Padgett was being released from jail. With Padgett being released, there is new call for information about the attacks from the public.
Padgett became a suspect when police thought he looked like the man seen in a surveillance video buying gasoline at a convenience store, the same day the first victim was found.
San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman stated, "I want everyone to know that this series against our homeless is the highest priority for our police department.These evil acts of violence are some of the worst that I have seen in my 34 years in law enforcement," Zimmerman said. "This killer has targeted some of our city's most vulnerable citizens while they are asleep," according to NBC news.
On Monday, in the same area, two homeless men were found in separate incidences. The first person on Monday to be found and second homeless man attacked, Manuel Mason, 61, was found slashed up by a jogger. The jogger immediately sought out a police officer. The man was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries. The man to appear to be sleeping when he was attacked, via, FOX 5.
Dionicio Derek Validity, 23,was the fourth victim found Wednesday in the same area as the other victims. Validity had been attacked and set on fire. According to family and friends of Validity, he was a University High graduate with the class of 2012 and went to Mesa College. Chelsea Lacy, a friend of Validity said, "he was so sweet and so nice, at least we could have done something to get him off of the streets to make things better for him," reported by NBC 7.
There are an estimated 800 homeless people who are living in the streets and 8,742 homeless people in San Diego, with just over half in shelters, according to the Regional Task Force on the Homeless.
The San Diego police and law enforcement agencies are working endlessly to find the serial killer.
[Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers]