Four people, two of them children, were killed in a mass stabbing at an apartment in New York City on Sunday morning.
Those who died – an 11-year-old girl, a 12-year-old boy, a 44-year-old woman and a man in his 30s – are all believed to come from the same family.
A 61-year-old woman was critically injured and two officers hurt when they were also stabbed after responding to an emergency call from the home in Far Rockaway, Queens.
Police rushed to the scene after a woman said her cousin was killing members of her family with a steak knife.
When they arrived, the suspect, a 38-year-old man, was leaving the property carrying luggage. He drew a knife, slashing one officer in the neck and chest and the other in the head, police said at a press conference.
The man, who has been identified as Courtney Gordon, was then shot dead. Gordon was a Bronx resident who had previously been arrested for domestic violence.
Both officers were taken to hospital, and neither suffered life-threatening injuries.
Police were unable to enter the apartment immediately because the suspect had set a couch alight. Once inside, they found three of the victims. The body of the young girl was outside the property.
“This scene was chaos, multiple victims, a home on fire, and a madman on a rampage, on a mission,” said Patrick Henry, the president of the New York City Police Benevolent Association.
New York City Police Department Chief Jeffrey Maddrey priased his officers, saying: “They could have easily let this person walk past them with his luggage. Instead, they stopped, asked a couple of questions, tried to get some intel before they walked right up in there.
“Unfortunately, they were met with the perpetrator in this incident. He went right at them.”