NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a suspect after a couple was stabbed to death in Brooklyn.

There was still an active crime scene Thursday on Winthrop Street in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, where police towed the car that neighbors say belonged to 59-year-old Hazel Brown and 65-year-old Stephenson Bonaparte.

The NYPD said as they were carrying groceries in around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night, they were fatally stabbed.

“He wasn’t moving and there were groceries strewn on the side,” one neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said. “I said, ‘look, you have to call the ambulance. This man needs help.'”

“I saw the ambulances – it was two ambulances that came up – and that’s all I saw. And I came down to see what happened, and it was a lot of commotion,” another witness said. 

Police said their daughter called 911. Fifteen minutes later, surveillance video shows her coming in from the cold temperatures only wearing a bathrobe and holding a baby close, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.

“Crazy things like this never happen in this neighborhood,” said neighbor Edith Talford. “It’s upsetting.”

Police sources say the couple had money on them when emergency responders arrived and don’t believe robbery was a motive, Rozner reported. Sources say the attack suggests something “more personal.”

There were candles outside the King Solomon Religious Store that the couple ran. It’s on Rutland Road in nearby Brownsville. That’s where police are focusing their investigation.

Sources told CBS2 there was some kind of argument there with a man on Wednesday. It’s not clear if he’s a customer or associate, but police want to speak with him. 

People in nearby businesses said the couple never had problems with anyone.

“They had a garden in the back they would bring me vegetables, fresh vegetables,” said neighbor Dolly Smith.

“Miss Hazel was an amazing person, very nice, very kind to everyone. I know she will be missed,” Sabrina Kandakai said. “Whoever killed her, I hope they find the person and be brought to justice.”

“From what I know of him, he’s a very kindhearted guy,” said Shelton Huntley. “Everybody in the neighborhood respected him, and he respected them.”

The attack has left neighbors on edge.

“I was talking to my co-worker and I said I’m wondering if I need to get away from this block right now,” one neighbor told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “This is a safe block. Everyone knows everyone and we are friendly, we are family. We have a block party, we hang out here and everyone knows everyone. It’s just tragic.”

“This is awful and I’m an elderly person and I’m afraid to go from here to Key Food now,” said Smith.

“It’s unbelievable and somewhat frightening,” said neighbor Stephen Sawney.

Investigators have been going door-to-door Thursday talking to neighbors and were reviewing surveillance footage, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.

The investigation is ongoing.


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