‘The Russians Are After Me’: Shooting Spree Suspect Makes Paranoid Statements In Court

[YouTube/Screenshot/CBS New York]

John Oyewale Contributor
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The man suspected of allegedly randomly shooting people while riding a scooter in New York City made several paranoid statements before and during arraignment Monday, according to several reports.

Thomas Abreu, 25, of Brooklyn, appeared in court via closed circuit TV from a Queens hospital bed, where he was held without bail, ABC 7 reported. He faced charges in the fatal Saturday shooting of 86-year-old pedestrian Hamoo Saeidi and for allegedly injuring three others.

“I think they want to kill me or murder. Everybody says that I’m innocent. That’s the best problem that there is. I need my innocence first of all. I’m told that I’m innocent. It’s the truth. I was not free but everybody tells me I’m innocent,” Abreu said, speaking through a Spanish interpreter at the start of the hearing.

At other times he nodded off, prompting Judge Scott Dunn to ask, “Are you coherent enough to follow these proceedings today? You keep closing your eyes — are you alert enough to go forward?” according to the New York Post. (REPORT: All Charges Dropped Against Man Who Stabbed Homeless Man On Subway)

Prosecutor Jonathan Selkowe said in court Abreu told detectives, “The Russians are after me, the Chinese are after me, the Italians are after me, Africa is after me,” per the New York Post.

“You are all wearing earpieces.”

Regarding the shooting spree, Abreu reportedly said, “I left my home on Elton Street. I used a scooter. I was jumped before and someone dropped a bag. And when I looked, there was a gun and I took it and kept it since. They were after me. They are bad people.”

Abreu was a deliveryman at Sazon Perez, a Dominican restaurant in Brooklyn, the outlet noted. His boss of five years, Jose Rodriguez, said Abreu had called out from his job that Saturday because “people were after him.”

Rodriguez reportedly added Abreu once claimed Rodriguez had microchipped him and other employees.

“I loved him like a son. He showed up on time and he was good … he was a big kid and he never got violent. But he said some strange things … he wasn’t good in his head,” Rodriguez further said, per the New York Post.

Judge Dunn remanded Abreu in custody and ordered a psychological evaluation, the report noted.

“The streets of two boroughs were turned into scenes of terror as this defendant allegedly rode his scooter, shooting indiscriminately at pedestrians and others. Thank you to the NYPD for quickly apprehending the suspect. My office will hold him fully accountable and seek justice for the victims,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said Monday in a statement.

Abreu faces charges of murder, attempted murder, assault and weapon possession, Katz added. If convicted, Abreu faces 25 years-to-life in prison.