Nathaniel Petgrave a Fort Lauderdale, Florida serial killer targeting homeless men is arrested, with the man saying he wanted to kill more victims.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida authorities have arrested 22 year old local man, Nathaniel Maurice Petgrave who is suspected of having targeted homeless men as his killing victims.
Petgrave, who ironically is himself homeless, admitted upon his arrest following found to be driving a stolen vehicle, using a gun and other weapons, including a machete and handsaw — to murder men living on the streets in Lauderhill and Fort Lauderdale, the Sun Sentinel reported.
During a Wednesday press conference, Interim Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione said police had been hunting for a suspect in the string of slayings since Oct. 20, when a pair of sleeping homeless men were shot at an abandoned gas station in Lauderhill.
In that shooting, Larry Scott, 65, died on the scene while the second unnamed victim remains hospitalized in critical condition.
The following day, detectives learned of a similar murder in Fort Lauderdale that had been captured on video.
Nathaniel Petgrave makeshift home found with cache of weapons in anticipation of next kill:
In the clip, Petgrave is reportedly seen speaking with 50-year-old John Jackson by the Dixie Food Store around 1 a.m. on Oct. 21. He was killed by a single gunshot to the head fired at close range.
Maglione said detectives believe Petgrave fired an additional shot at someone else before he allegedly murdered Jackson.
In a bid to capture the homeless serial killer, the miaminewtimes reported cops combing local homeless shelters in a bid to find their suspect.
Using a photo taken from footage of Jackson’s murder, an employee at a Lauderhill homeless center was able to identify Petgrave as the suspect, leading cops to where he ate and did laundry.
Authorities discovered a third murder victim on Oct. 27 around 10:30 a.m. The body of Derrick Westley Tucker, who’d been temporarily homeless and sleeping in a Public Storage unit in Fort Lauderdale. Tucker’s body was discovered beside a bloodied nine-pound pipe vice, machete and handsaw.
Above the victim’s body, written in his own blood was the message, ‘4 STOP WAIT TIME’.
Cops suspect Petgrave believed he’d killed his fourth victim and was unaware one of his earlier shooting victims survived.
Detectives eventually found Petgrave driving a black Chevrolet pickup truck that had been stolen in Miami Gardens in September. While in custody, he confessed to taking the construction tools and killing Tucker.
Reiterated Maglione, ‘This individual did kill three,’
‘So I guess by dictionary definition he would qualify as a serial killer.’
Despite Petgrave’s victims all being homeless, police don’t think the budding serial killer had been specifically targeting homeless people but rather picked on his particular victims because they ‘were just available at the time he was out.’
During his killing spree, cops said Petgrave had been living in a shelter he built on the corner of State Road 7 and Northwest Eighth place. A regard of the makeshift impromptu home led to authorities finding more than two dozen live rounds of 9 mm bullets.
Which is to wonder how many more killings Petgrave had up his sleeve and whether he intended to go after other homeless individuals despite cop’s assertion that his particular brand of victims were just more convenient to kill (perhaps because there was less chance they would be missed).
Upon his arrest, Petgrave was booked on three counts of premeditated murder, committing or attempting to commit a felony that could cause death, armed burglary of a business and unarmed burglary of a vehicle.
Of note, WPLG noted Petgrave telling cops at the time of his arrest, ‘That’s too bad. I wanted to go on killing more people.’
Petgrave is being held without bail at Broward County jail.