NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A mother and her four children were stabbed to death in Brooklyn on Saturday night, and a relative of the children’s father has been charged with their murders.
As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the accused killer — Ming Don Chen, 25 — was led out of the 66th Precinct police station in Borough Park, Brooklyn handcuffs Sunday evening. He was set to undergo a psychiatric evaluation 24 hours after the deadly attack.
The massacre happened around 10:45 p.m. on 57th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Police responded to the home after receiving a report that one person was stabbed inside, CBS 2′s Janelle Burrell reported. But when officers arrived, they found five people unconscious with stab wounds to their upper bodies.
Linda Zhuo, 9; Amy Zhuo, 7; and William Zhuo, 1, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Qiao Zhen Li, 37, and Kevin Zhuo, 5, were brought to area hospitals, but doctors were unable to save them.
Suspect Chen was charged soon afterward with five counts of murder, assault of a police officer and resisting arrest, authorities said. Chen has been charged with murder, assault and resisting arrest. Police said he assaulted an officer while in custody at the police precinct.
Chen was taken into custody shortly after police responded to the scene. Witnesses said he had no shoes on, and his feet were bloody, 1010 WINS’ Eileen Lephamer reported. Police said he implicated himself in the slayings.
Li was the wife of Chen’s cousin, police said. He allegedly used a meat cleaver to kill his victims.
Out of his blood-soaked clothes and in a police-issued jumpsuit, Chen was emotionless and seemingly in a daze as he was led out of the police station.
Meanwhile, neighbors were in shock.
“I don’t know, I think just that guy’s crazy,” one woman who said she is familiar with the suspect to WCBS 880′s Ginny Kosola. “He’s very crazy.”
Witnesses described to 1010 WINS’ Eileen Lehpamer seeing bloody children and a lot of body bags.
NYPD Chief of Department Phillip Banks III likewise used strong words to describe the attack.
“Horrific, horrific crime,” said NYPD Chief of Department Phillip Banks III. “Perpetrator’s in custody. We believe he acted alone. Investigation is ongoing. A mother is deceased, along with her four children — two of her sons, and two of her daughters. Bad situation there, but hopefully just the fact that the perpetrator’s in custody may bring some type of relief to the family members if possible.”
Chen is an immigrant from China, who was staying with the family for about eight days, Kosola reported.
Li reportedly tried, but failed to reach her husband at work, telling him Chen had been acting strange. Her sister-in-law then rushed to the house and discovered the horror.
“The sister arrives at the location with her husband, and they bang on the door and they bang on the door,” Banks said. “At some point he opens the door and they see that he’s covered in blood.”
The sister-in-law called 911. Police quickly responded to the home and arrested Chen at the scene.
Neighbors said that just before 11 p.m., a relative rushed out of the home and was inconsolable.
“She’s crying, and her friend told me her family was cut, and the kid was cut and there were so many bodies inside in the room,” neighbor Lee Rencong told Burrell.
Neighbors said they were stunned to learn about the slayings.
“It takes a real evil person to stab a child,” said Michael Chan. “I feel like stabbing anybody is like a very personal attack. And stabbing a kid is like a monster. Only a monster’s capable of doing that.
Meanwhile, the suspect’s cousin was seen arriving at the police precinct, crushed after losing his entire family in one unthinkable night.
Investigators said they still did not know what set Chen off.
“He made a very short comment that since he’s been in this country everybody seems to be doing better than him,” Banks said. “And that was a soft comment we’re not really sure what that means.”
On Sunday night, Chen was under arrest and was behind held for observation at Bellevue Hospital.
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