HILLCREST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Rockland County are looking for a person of interest following a fatal stabbing at a children’s birthday party.
Police said a few of men got into an argument in the driveway of the home on East Hickory Street in Hillcrest at around 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
Initial reports indicated that Riccardo Barrett, 22, was shot to death. On Monday afternoon the Rockland County Medical Examiner announced that Barrett had been killed by a stab wound to the chest.
“He was just laying on the floor, laying on the floor calling my name, saying ‘Terese I’m okay, I’m okay,'” Barrett’s girlfriend told CBS 2’s Alice Gainer.
Barrett and his girlfriend were at a children’s birthday party at the home on East Hickory Street when he got into an altercation with a group of men who were hanging out across the street.
“It was three guys drinking here, they started fighting,” explained Raul Castro, who witnesses the dispute.
Investigators said Otha Williams, 20, of the Bronx, was fighting with another man in the street. At the same time another fight apparently broke out between Barrett and two other men.
“At some point during these two fights that are occurring at the same time, we’re told that Williams pulls out a handgun and starts waving it at the crowd,” Ramapo Police Capt. Brad Weidel said.
Shots were fired, according to witnesses, but the medical examiner told reporters that Barrett was killed with a knife.
Police said the suspect fled on foot and that he may have been with a second man who is described as a black, about 5-foot-9, with a medium completion and braided hair, police said. He was last seen wearing a black hat, black hooded sweatshirt and dark-colored pants.
Following the incident a SWAT team surrounded the home where the fight occurred, police said.
“There were a lot of people involved in this. Our detectives are interviewing a lot of people, maybe over 70 people will be interviewed. No one should assume anything,” Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said.
Williams is not a suspect. According to police he is a person of interest. Investigators said they are urging him to come in and speak with them about the incident. Police said he may still be in Spring Valley/Hillcrest area.
The victim’s girlfriend said Barrett did not know Williams.
“No one is gonna take that loss easy. It’s gonna be hard for everybody in this community. He was a simple little kid. He was like 22 and wanted to get tattoos. You know, simple,” Fadra Norfleet, an acquaintance of the victim, told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams Monday.
Anyone with information should the Ramapo Police Department at (845) 357-2400 or their Crime Tips Line at 1-888-998-TIPS.
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