Suspect arrested in Brooklyn stabbing of advocate and poet
18-year-old Brian Bowling was arrested Thursday morning in connection with the fatal stabbing of Ryan Thoresen Carson, a New York-based political activist and poet
New York City police have announced the arrest of Brian Dowling in connection with the fatal stabbing of activist Ryan Thoresen Carson, 32, in Brooklyn on Oct. 2.
Carson was killed in an unprovoked attack in the early hours of the morning while walking home with his girlfriend and was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital, per CBS. Security footage of the attack helped police identify Dowling, 18, as a person of interest.
Police executed a search warrant at Dowling’s apartment, which is roughly 500 feet from the crime scene, per ABC 7. Police found the hoodie worn by the suspect in the video as well as a knife they are currently testing to confirm as the murder weapon.
Dowling is currently in police custody and is expected to appear in court Thursday afternoon to face a murder charge, according to ABC News.
Who was Ryan Carson?
Carson was a campaign organizer for the nonprofit New York Public Interest Research Group. According to the group’s statement, he also worked in their community outreach program, as a project coordinator and as Senior Solid Waste Campaign Manager, advocating for the expansion of New York’s bottle deposit laws.
“Ryan was a beloved staffer, colleague and friend, and a creative, talented, relentless and upbeat advocate for students and the environment,” the statement read. “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.”
Carson also helped establish NO OD NY, an organization that advocated for the creation of safe injection facilities to provide medical care and support to people struggling with addiction.
In 2021, he launched a GoFundMe to fundraise for a campaign where he and several others walked 350 miles across the state of New York to pressure then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo to establish supervised injection sites in the state.
Carson wrote an op-ed on New York City’s opioid crisis for the New York Daily News in 2021.
Family and friends gathered at a vigil honoring Carson’s life on Monday. The New York Daily News reported that over 100 people were present, including Carson’s parents.
Who killed Ryan Carson?
New York City police released security footage of the murder and isolated images of the suspect, now believed to be Brian Dowling.
WANTED FOR MURDER: On 10/2/23 @ 3:50 AM, at Malcolm X Blvd & Lafayette Ave in the confines of the 81st Precinct, the above individual stabbed the victim multiple times, causing his demise. Any info, please call the @NYPDTips at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/bjjxI7XTZA— NYPD 81st Precinct (@NYPD81Pct) October 3, 2023
The suspect was wearing a dark hoodie and behaving erratically prior to the attack. The security footage shows the suspect kicking scooters on the sidewalk before approaching Carson and his girlfriend.
Carson can be seen in the video saying, “Chill, chill, chill,” and trying to back away from the suspect. Carson then tripped and the suspect stabbed him repeatedly, killing him.
An unidentified woman approached the couple and mentioned the name “Brian.” Police are looking to question her as well, according to ABC 7.
Dowling will likely remain in police custody until his appearance in court.
“Ryan Carson turned his passion into purpose,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said on social media. “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.”