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2 children among 4 killed, two officers injured before suspect sets house fire

NYPD: Police Car in New York City^ NY
NYPD: Police Car in New York City^ NY

Four members of a family, including two children, were killed on Sunday morning in Far Rockaway, a residential neighborhood on the beach in the Queens borough of New York City.  The male suspect later set the family house on fire and stabbed two NYPD officers who responded to the incident, one of whom later shot the man dead.

The suspect was identified as Courtney Gordon, 38, but the NYPD did not identify any of the victims. Gordon had one prior arrest for strangulation domestic violence incident in the Bronx, NY. An 11-year-old girl was found dead from her injuries in front of the house, but officers were unable to enter because of a fire inside the living room. When the fire was extinguished, police found a 12-year-old boy, a 44-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man dead inside a back room. Another victim, a 61-year-old woman, is hospitalized in critical condition.

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said in a news conference from Jamaica Hospital in Queens that two officers responded to a 911 call around 5:10 a.m.  Described as a young female, the 911 caller said that her cousin was killing her family members at a home. Maddrey said: “I just want to kind of set the stage for you. It’s a residential block with homes on it but at this particular location there’s a driveway and you go up the driveway and you go to the end of the driveway, there’s another four or five private two-homes there. So, our officers pull up to the driveway. As they get to the driveway, they see a male pulling out. He’s carrying luggage. Our officers ask the male a question or two in an encounter that lasted about ten seconds where the male draws a knife on the officers.”

The suspect used a kitchen steak knife to stab one of the officers in the neck and chest, and stabbed the second officer in the head before one of the officers, a 28-year veteran of the department, drew his firearm and shot the suspect. The officers were taken to Jamaica Hospital, where they are expected to recover.

Editorial credit: Kivanc Ekinci / Shutterstock.com

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