Nov. 13 (UPI) — A Florida man was arrested for killing three people, including two homeless men, for no other reason than they were “available at the time he was out,” police said Wednesday.
Nathaniel Maurice Petgrave, 22, told police in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last week that he committed the murders and intended to kill five people, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
“And this individual did kill three,” interim Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione said. “So I guess by dictionary definition, he would qualify as a serial killer.”
The bloodshed began on Oct. 20, when Petgrave, who was homeless himself at the time of the murders, allegedly shot and killed 65-year-old Larry Scott and critically injured another at a gas station in Lauderhill, Fla., just a few miles west of Fort Lauderdale.
The next day, 50-year-old John Jackson was working on his car outside a grocery store when Petgrave allegedly came up to him and shot him in the back of the head. Jackson was taken to a hospital but died.
Faith Patterson, Jackson’s partner of 10 years, told NBC 6 that Jackson “never bothered anybody” and she’s disturbed by their last interaction.
“He came in the house and I told him: ‘Stay in the house. Don’t go back out.’ But he insisted on going back out, and I never did see him anymore until somebody came knocking on the door and told me to come to [the grocery store]. He had got shot,” Patterson said.
As police searched for the killer, Petgrave allegedly continued his killing spree when, on Oct. 27, he shot Derrick Tucker, 46, a man living in a storage unit in Fort Lauderdale.
Next to Tucker’s dead body, Petgrave allegedly left a note written in blood that said “4 STOP WAIT TIME.”
Police were able to identify Petgrave using footage recorded at the grocery store when Jackson was killed. He confessed to the murders while in custody.
Petgrave came to the attention of police on Sept. 20, when he was firing a 9mm pistol near a railroad access road for target practice, according to police reports. A police officer confiscated the gun to check if it was legal. The gun checked out and police returned it to Petgrave.
Bullet casings matching the gun were found at two of the murder scenes.