NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The hunt was on Sunday for two suspects after police say a man was stabbed to death inside his home in the Bronx.
Officers were called to the apartments on Weeks Avenue near East 175th Street just after 1 a.m.
They found resident William Easter, 52, inside his apartment suffering from wounds to his neck and stomach. Medics rushed him to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
One witness said Easter’s longtime girlfriend walked in on the attack and scared the assailants away. Friends said she was later brought to the hospital to be checked out for signs of shock, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
“She was screaming. She was like ‘Call 911! Get help! He’s not breathing! He’s not responding!'” the witness said.
Neighbors who knew Easter told CBS2 they can’t understand who would want to hurt him.
“He was a real nice guy,” one man said. “He was from the neighborhood. Everybody knew him around here. Sorry to hear that, man. It’s a tough neighborhood. Things happen sometimes when they’re not supposed to to the wrong people.”
Acquaintances said Easter worked as a custodian in Manhattan office buildings until health problems pushed him in to early retirement.
His children live elsewhere, they said.
Witnesses said one of Easter’s attackers wore a ski mask and one of them had on a dark blue sweatshirt and pants. Police said it’s unclear if the victim was targeted or if it was a random attack.
The surveillance video from the building shows so many people coming and going around the time of the attack, so pinpointing the suspects could take time, CBS2’s Carlin reported.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74682). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.