NYPD: 3 dead of gunshots in Harlem building that was on fire

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Emergency responders found a chaotic scene Friday at a Harlem building that was on fire while three people lay dead of gunshot wounds in an apparent murder-suicide.

Deputy Chief Martine Materasso, the commanding officer of Manhattan North detectives, said police first responded to a report of shots heard inside the five-story building on West 131st Street near Fifth Avenue.

Officers found a 78-year-old man lying dead in a hallway, with another man yelling from an apartment, "Come and get it" as he barricaded himself. The officers noticed smoke coming out that later became a blaze. About 100 firefighters responded to the fire before it was extinguished.

Police said the 59-year-old suspected shooter inside the apartment died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The deputy chief said he had been arguing with the older man who was fatally shot. Also shot dead on another floor was a 62-year-old woman.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire and did not know whether it was in any way linked to the three dead people.

Neighbors told NY1 cable TV that the woman was married to the 78-year-old victim and the gunman lived in the same building where they had issues over noise. Police recovered two weapons from inside his apartment.

WNBC-TV said the husband was the building superintendent who another neighbor said was "always smiling, he was friendly, sweet, kind."

The 59-year-old man "snapped, but for what? Now they're all dead," Mary Hall, a building resident, told NY1.

Authorities did not immediately release the names of the three dead people.

Police said no one else was injured.
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10/19/2019 12:30:28 AM (GMT -4:00)