“If you’re from New York, we sometimes have blinders on,” he said, “but if you look around, especially around here at night, you’ll see where they are: on Madison over there, on Henry, over there in Chatham Square.”
A few steps away, two men who described themselves as homeless and regulars of the neighborhood, said the killings unnerved them because they knew one of the victims. The two men often shared a sleeping spot outside an area bakery. Their friend, they said, slept by a doorway with his cane by his side.
“That’s his bed. Nobody else sleeps there,” said one of the men.
Andy Wang, 45, a manager at the Taiwan Pork Chop House, said one of the victims was a neighborhood fixture who liked to sit in the same table by the kitchen on many days and order the same meal: pork chop over rice for $5.75.
The victim, who spoke both Mandarin and Cantonese, would simply sit there and savor his meal. “He would come in and we would get the same order, and he wouldn’t say anything,” Mr. Wang said in Mandarin. “He wouldn’t need to say anything.”
Andrew Harris, 28, who has been homeless for about four years, said he was stunned that this would happen in an area he described as “usually safe.”
“I’m angry,” Mr. Harris added, looking at the blood splatters and patches of matted hair inside the doorway. “Someone tried to send homeless people a message — people from our community — and that makes me angry.”
Derrick Bryson Taylor, Alex Traub, Jeff Singer, Yonette Joseph and Aimee Ortiz contributed reporting.