18-year-old suspect charged with murder over random knife slaying of activist

18-year-old Brian Dowling allegedly killed Ryan Carson, 32, in Brooklyn, New York City during an unprovoked attack at 4am on Monday as he returned from a wedding with his girlfriend Claudia Morales.

Police swarmed Dowling’s Brooklyn apartment Thursday after obtaining a search warrant and recovered a knife as well as a sweatshirt that the suspect was wearing during the tragic incident, authorities said. They added that the suspect was charged with second-degree murder and criminal weapons possession.

Footage from the disturbing scene early on Monday showed the couple sitting on a bench when an unidentified male walked past. A man in a hoodie can be seen kicking something, before turning around seemingly at random and advancing on Mr Carson and his partner, screaming “What the f**k are you looking at?”

The terrifying incident then sees Mr Carson backing away as the individual lunges at him before Mr Carson trips over the bench and is stabbed as he lays helplessly on the floor. Police said Dowling was emotionally disturbed and that he spat in Ms Morales’ face before kicking Mr Carson and running away.

Medical attention couldn’t save the social justice advocate, who was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital. Hours earlier Ms Morales and Mr Carson were seen at the wedding together enjoying themselves and posing for pictures.

The teenage suspect did not make any statements to the police after his arrest and has enlisted a lawyer. Police were reportedly searching for clothing that the suspect was wearing at the time of the attack and indeed found his black Champion sweatshirt seen in the footage from the scene, inside his apartment.

Tragically, a heartbreaking note was found on Mr Carson’s phone, where had pledged his undying love for his girlfriend, writing how he would “love Claudia more than she’s ever been loved, which is frankly all she’s ever deserved.”. Ms Morales took to Twitter as she shared the note, adding: “He did, he did, he did.”

Mr Carson was also a strong supporter of the environment and was a a senior solid waste campaign manager with the New York Public Interest Research Group at the time of his death.

New York Assembly Member Emily Gallagher said she knew Mr Carson before she became a politician. They bonded over shared experiences of losing friends to drug overdose and Mr Carson once walked from New York City to Albany to raise awareness for safe injection facilities.