NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Three people are dead after an apparent murder-suicide in Harlem that the killer may have tried to cover up by starting an apartment fire.

Police sources tell CBS2 all three people inside the building on West 131st Street were shot to death. First responders arrived at the scene around 3 p.m. Friday after reports of shots being fired.

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Officers found a 78-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the head in a first floor hallway. That’s when NYPD officers heard another man yell “come and get it” from a nearby first floor apartment.


Investigators say the 59-year-old suspect barricaded himself in that first floor apartment. After police called for backup, smoke and fire was seen coming from the building.

Chopper 2 was over the apartment Friday afternoon. Over 100 firefighters were needed to put out the fire.

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Once police were able to enter the building, they found the lifeless body of a 62-year-old woman shot in the head on the second floor and the suspect’s body inside that apartment. The 59-year-old had also reportedly suffered a gunshot wound to the head in an apparent suicide.

Apartment fire on West 131st Street in Harlem on Oct. 18, 2019. (Credit: CBS2)

The NYPD says the suspected gunman was a neighbor of the two shooting victims. The 78-year-old victim was reportedly shot by the suspect after having a dispute with the attacker. That gunman then allegedly went upstairs and killed the 62-year-old woman.

Neighbors told CBS2’s Valerie Castro that the alleged gunman had a long-running dispute with his victims; claiming the couple made too much noise in their apartment.

Police say they are not searching for any other suspects at this time.

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