Four people, including a five-year-old boy, were shot dead in a small residential building in Queens on Monday night, which the investigators say could have been a suicide murder, police said.
Shooting pulled a flock of police cars and ambulances into a tree-lined block of flats in Astoria, sending detectives trying to find out if a suspect was at large.
Police were found on 23.07, around 9 pm, after a man with a gunshot wound was found in the backyard and his throat was cut, the police said:
He was pronounced dead, as were two women and the 5-year-old (19659002) Investigators found a gun at the scene and a glass sliding door broke, and soon heavily armed officers swarmed from the four-story brick building and searched behind it. A police helicopter radiated a headlight from above.
The police did not immediately mention the murdered or give details of a motive, but they said late Monday they had tentatively identified a victim. The police also said they were still trying to find out if the dead were members of the same family.
Investigators relied on the theory of murder, but on late Monday evening they were still working to eliminate other options, a police officer said
The shootout plunged into a silent night on a block hidden between two busy streets , None of the buildings on the block is larger than five stories, but most are three, and some of them are decorated for the holidays from St. Patrick's Day to Christmas.
Neighbors said they had no idea something was wrong until police cars and ambulances squealed on their corner. Several people said they saw a policeman sobbing away from the scene. "I got off the bus and saw an ambulance on the corner thinking" Oh, someone's having a heart attack, "said William Fulton, 63, who lives about one block from the scene." But suddenly, just after nine, police cars appear and other ambulances like crazy. "
Ashley Southall, Sean Piccoli and Matt Stevens reported on the coverage.