City mourns after fatal stabbing of New York activist Ryan Carson

A well-known New York activist was stabbed to death in Brooklyn in the early hours of Monday morning.

Ryan Carson, 32, a community activist and Pratt Institute alum, was walking with his girlfriend back home at around 4am after they had just attended a wedding on Long Island.

In disturbing video footage obtained by The New York Post, the couple, both dressed in formal attire, were seen pausing to sit and speak at a bench bus stop as a stranger in a black hooded jumper strolled past them.

Up ahead, the stranger started to kick scooters that were parked near the curb when suddenly the man turned to look at Mr Carson and said, “What the f*** are you looking at?”

The activist replied and said he wasn’t looking at anything, but the erratic man decided to pursue the couple.

“I’ll kill you,” the man threatened, to which Mr Carson said, “Chill! Chill!” while stepping between the stranger and his girlfriend trying to quell the situation.

The attacker then ran after Mr Carson, who fell over the bench he was sitting on moments ago.

The suspect grabbed Mr Carson’s suit jacket and threw him on the ground before stabbing the victim several times in the chest.

The murderer then ran off just after the girlfriend caught up, but spat on her before he made his escape.

An unknown woman was then caught by the surveillance footage shouting a name at the suspect and yelling “Don’t hurt him!”

The video cuts off just after Mr Carson’s girlfriend embraced him while he was lying on the ground.

The activist was taken to Kings County Hospital Centre and was pronounced dead.

Mr Carson’s girlfriend is believed to have sustained no injuries.

A stab wound had pierced directly into his heart, police sources told The New York Post.

Police are searching for the suspect that they caught on camera stabbing the activist (NYPD)
Police are searching for the suspect that they caught on camera stabbing the activist (NYPD)

The couple had been walking at Lafayette Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard after they had just gotten off the subway and were on their way home when the attack happened, police said.

Mr Carson’s activist work focused on sustainability and environmental policies at the New York Public Interest Research Group, friends of his said.

He also was fond of writing poetry and created the campaign ‘No OD NY’, which raised awareness for overdose prevention centres.

A statement from NYPIRG said Mr Carson was “a beloved staffer, colleague and friend, and a creative, talented, relentless and upbeat advocate for students and the environment.”

“His engaging personality, hearty laugh and wide-ranging intelligence were keys to his success in advancing the causes he deeply cared about in his work and personal life,” the statement read. “Ryan was a consummate team player who would happily undertake the basic ‘blocking and tackling’ tasks necessary to advance and win on an issue, but also shined in the spotlight as a leader, campaign manager and spokesperson.”

A vigil was held in honour of Ryan Carson’s passing that evening (WABC)
A vigil was held in honour of Ryan Carson’s passing that evening (WABC)

New York City Mayor Eric Adams also posted on X, “Ryan Carson turned his passion into purpose. He advocated tirelessly for others, and his giving spirit was a buoy to all. His murder is unthinkable, and the NYPD won’t rest until we bring him to justice.”

Julia Salazar, a New York State senator, also said on X that she had become friends with Ryan Carson in recent years and “learned a lot” from him in the short time they knew each other.

“We all stayed up late in conversation [at an outing in Albany], into the early morning, and Ryan walked me to my apartment at the time to make sure I was safe. A simple gesture that came to mind when I learned of the unbelievable circumstances of his death.”

A vigil was held in a Bedford-Stuyvesant park later that night on Monday after Mr Carson died; his roommate told The New York Post that 150 people attended to pay respects to the much-loved New Yorker.

The NYPD has released a photo taken from the surveillance footage of the suspected murder in an attempt to identify at catch him.

A spokesperson for the police said on Tuesday that no arrests have yet to be made.