2 Die in Jealous Rampage; City’s Third Murder-Suicide in Days

The New York Times 1 day ago

Officers summoned to a Brooklyn apartment discovered the grisly remains of what was once a romance: A 30-year-old man in a jealous rage had shot his former girlfriend in the head, then shot her new boyfriend in the chest before killing himself on Sunday, the police said.

The ex-boyfriend, Darnell Solomon, and his former girlfriend, Janed Duncan, 24, died at a hospital while the victim’s boyfriend, Miguel McLawrence, 33, was expected to survive, the police said.

It was the third murder-suicide in a week in New York City involving domestic violence. Two other women were stabbed to death by their abusive husbands, who then killed themselves, the police said. One of the men also killed his 5-year-old daughter, according to the police.

The violence in Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon unfolded in a second-floor apartment on a stretch of Utica Avenue in the Flatlands neighborhood, where small apartment buildings and townhouses sit near a scrap yard and a tire shop.

Three loud bangs startled a neighbor, who recognized the sounds as gunfire and called 911, the police said.

On Sunday evening, Utica Avenue was blocked off to traffic as one or two police officers stood outside the building, whose entrance was surrounded by police tape.

Ms. Duncan and Ms. Solomon had previously lived together in the apartment, the police said. It was unclear how long ago that arrangement ended.

The owner of a hair salon under the apartment, Alison Wilkinson, said that she was shocked and saddened to learn of the violence but that she was grateful her business had been closed.

“Thank God for that,” she said.

Domestic violence has long been a problem for the police, who say they often have no warning about such strife before it leads to violence. Complaints of domestic violence preceded about one in six such killings this year, the police said in September.

Police officials say the vast majority of domestic violence goes unreported.

Officers respond to about 230,000 such cases each year in New York City — the equivalent of more than 600 calls a day, according to the Police Department. Yet in 2018, victims and witnesses filed just 86,184 complaints, according to city data.

A police spokesman did not know whether officers had responded to prior domestic disputes involving the gunman on Sunday.

In another case this week, the police said they did not know of trouble between a Harlem couple in the middle of a divorce before the husband, Yonathan Tedla, 46, slit the throats of his wife and their 5-year-old-daughter on Thursday. But the woman, Jennifer Schlecht, had obtained an order of protection in 2016 against her husband, who hanged himself in a closet, relatives said.

And Dineshwar Budhidat, 33, killed his wife at his Queens home on Friday before hanging himself from a tree, the police said. The victim, Donne Dojoy, 27, had an order of protection against her husband stemming from his arrest in August after hitting and choking her. She was visiting him when she was killed, the police said.

Ms. Dojoy had told her friends that her husband abused her and that he was jealous of her infatuation with a Bollywood star, The New York Post reported.

The killings add to a grim toll that has fluctuated over the years but appeared to be declining in 2019. At the end of October, murders stemming from domestic violence had decreased to 44 from 52 during the same period in 2018.

Nearly 600 New Yorkers were killed in domestic violence episodes from 2010 to 2018, according to an annual city report. Almost 50 of them — nearly all of them women — were killed by a partner who then took his or her own life, the report said.

The police developed a strategy last year to rely on tips from victims and witnesses to find abusers’ guns. Officials say it has resulted in the seizure of 126 illegal firearms so far this year. But even without firearms, abusers have found other ways to kill.

Sean Piccoli contributed reporting.

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