HAVERSTRAW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 32-year-old mother was killed and the rest of her family was rushed to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after police say a driver deliberately plowed into them outside a convenience store in Rockland County.
Investigators say 35-year-old Jason Mendez, of Washingtonville, intentionally drove into two adults and six children, including an infant in a stroller, in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven in Haverstraw following some kind of argument.READ MORE: Suspected Human Remains Found In Florida Wildlife Preserve Where Authorities Are Searching For Brian Laundrie
After initially striking the family, police say the driver backed up and proceeded to hit them again.
Police say the driver was brandishing a knife when officers arrived at the scene. After refusing to drop it, police were forced to use a Taser on him.READ MORE: New York City Mayoral Candidates Eric Adams, Curtis Sliwa Meet For First Debate
The family members were rushed to nearby hospitals, where officials say the mother was pronounced dead. Her 35-year-old husband and their six children, all under the age of 10, were being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Haverstraw Police Captain Martin Lund called the deadly confrontation “a tragedy.”
“It doesn’t happen very frequently in our community,” he said. “It is a tragedy that happened today.”
Police say the initial argument may have stemmed from the husband asking Mendez to not blow cigarette smoke near his children.MORE NEWS: Mayor De Blasio Announces Vaccine Mandate For All New York City Municipal Workers, Including First Responders
Mendez was charged with second degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder. He’s due back in court next Tuesday.