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: De Blasio: New Mask Guidance In NYC May Come Monday As More Places Require Vaccinations Or Weekly Testing
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.
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.READ MORE: Multiple Tornado Warnings Issued As Severe Weather Impacts Tri-State Area
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: Vessel At Hudson Yards Closes Indefinitely After 14-Year-Old Jumps From Structure
Mendez was charged with second degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder. He’s due back in court next Tuesday.