BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A man accused of killing three elderly women inside a Brownsville housing complex has been arrested, the NYPD confirmed Thursday afternoon.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison identified the man as 66-year-old Kevin Gavin.
#Breaking Detectives from @NYPD73Pct walk 66 year old Kevin Gavin of Brownsville out of the precinct tonight. He’s now accused in the murders of 3 elderly women at the same NYCHA apartment building. The first murder took place in 2015 - I’ll have the full story on @NY1 pic.twitter.com/vFKoiFvY9H— Angi Gonzalez (@AnchorAngi) January 21, 2021
Police say he lived in the building and was familiar with the residents, running errands for some elderly tenants.
According to authorities, his first alleged victim, 82-year-old Myrtle McKenny, was killed in November 2015, and the second, 83-year-old Jacolia James, was killed in April of 2019.
The NYPD says it was the most recent murder of 78-year-old Juanita Caballero that provided additional forensic evidence tying Gavin to all three homicides. Caballero was found dead last Friday with a telephone cord around her neck.
One of James’ relatives spoke at a separate news conference Thursday outside the scene of the crimes. Lamarr Crafton, James' grandson, thanked police for their efforts.
"Right now, just thank you, and I hope that the guy that they caught or whoever that person my be is prosecuted," Crafton said.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who joined Harrison during the announcement at One Police Plaza, said that Gavin would be held accountable. The next step is taking the case to a grand jury.
"The defendent took advantage of his relationship with these women, was allowed into their homes and did unspeakable acts of violence against them," said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. "I'm confident that we have the right person in custody, and we'll be moving very promptly to impaneling a grand jury to hear evidence in this case."
Gavin’s arrest comes less than a week after local leaders and community members held a news conference demanding that more police resources be assigned to the case. Some of them said they’ve been asking for more security here since the first murder
"NYCHA failed our families. They failed the McKinley family. They failed the James family. They failed my mothe. hey had time to do something," said Steven Caballero, a son of the most recent victim. "I don’t know what it’s going to take for them to put these cameras in the building."
A NYCHA spokesperson responded, saying, "NYCHA is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our residents. This building currently has a lobby camera, security doors and locks, and a security guard, and we are also working diligently with our City partners to expedite the installation of CCTV cameras."
Gavin did not speak to reporters on his way out of the 73rd Precinct. Authorities say he does have a past criminal record, but they say those arrests were mostly drug-related. Authorities believe the three killings may have been the result of arguments over money or finances.