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Racial attack: US army veteran says he would rather have killed a younger black man

Authorities said Jackson came to Manhattan from Baltimore earlier this month with the aim of killing black men and to make a statement.

world Updated: Mar 27, 2017 08:38 IST
James Harris Jackson is produced before a criminal court.
James Harris Jackson is produced before a criminal court.(AP Photo)

An army veteran accused of randomly killing a 66-year-old black man in a racial attack in New York City said he regretted killing the man because he would rather have killed a younger or a more successful black victim.

James Harris Jackson told the Daily News on Sunday that he was “sorry” he stabbed Timothy Caughman, who was collecting bottles. He said it was dark and he did not know the victim was elderly.

Authorities said Jackson came to Manhattan from Baltimore earlier this month with the aim of killing black men and to “make a statement.”

Jackson told the newspaper his goal was to force women to reconsider their interracial relationships.

The 28-year-old has been arraigned on a hate crime murder charge. He did not enter a plea. His next court date is on Monday.

People at a vigil in the Hampden neighbourhood of Baltimore to show sympathy for Timothy Caughman. (NYT Photo)

Jackson had encountered Caughman, who was collecting bottles from trash cans, and stabbed him in his chest and back, authorities said.

He turned himself in at a Times Square police station early on Wednesday, a day after the wounded Caughman staggered into a police precinct. The sword was found in a trash can.

Jackson’s lawyer suggested that his client might be suffering from mental illness.

The accused told the police he had harboured hatred toward black men for at least 10 years, authorities said. Jackson was in the army from 2009 to 2012 and worked as an intelligence analyst.