NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Mount Vernon man killed the mother and sisters of his 9-year-old daughter before fatally shooting himself Monday in Brooklyn, police say.
According to police, the father was there for his daughter’s birthday party, but instead ended up killing her family and taking his own life.READ MORE: Military Support Arrives For Coney Island Hospital Staff: 'There's Burnout... We Need Emotional Help'
Police said the little girl called 911 to report the shooting around 11:30 p.m. from the Van Dyke Houses on Sutter Avenue in Brownsville.
“Where she’s saying, ‘Daddy’s coming for my birthday, he didn’t bring presents,’ et cetera, et cetera. It’s really heart-wrenching,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said.
Joseph McCrimons, 46, allegedly shot the child’s mother and her two sisters, who had a different father. The victims were identified as 45-year-old Rasheeda Barzey, 20-year-old Solei Spears and 16-year-old Chloe Spears.
CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis has been told investigators arrived to a horrific scene and found the 9-year-old girl in a closet.
“I spent this morning watching body camera video of that terrible incident last night in Brooklyn. It would tear your heart out to see the young girl from that crying,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.
Shea said McCrimons was armed with at least two guns.
“The individual then leaves and takes his own life a short distance away,” Shea said. “It appears to be domestic in nature at this point in time.”
McCrimons was previously convicted of manslaughter after shooting a father in Nassau County in 1993.
BREAKING: Police say a man shot and killed the mother of his 9yo daughter and 2 of her female family members insider her #Brownsville BK apartment. He then killed himself. Their daughter wasn’t injured but was the one who called 911. Latest on @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/lTjef1SKJa
— John Dias (@JohnBDias) April 6, 2021
CBS2’s John Dias spoke with a woman who lives in the building and said she heard at least three gunshots go off on the fourth floor.
“I’m scared, sir, and I’m not opening my door because I’m nervous,” she told Dias.
Neighbors said they didn’t know much about the family, who may have been new to the building. Some said they heard loud noises coming from the apartment once in a while, but never fighting.
Police are looking into what’s described as a “rocky relationship” between the couple but say they have no prior domestic history.READ MORE: NYPD Officer Jason Rivera 'Always Said He Wanted To Be A Police Officer;' Wake And Funeral Set For This Week
“It’s really sad, it’s really sad, especially during this pandemic. We need to band together,” said neighbor Dorothy Glover.
“This building needs to be shut down, or they need security,” neighbor Naequa Taylor added.
Daniel Goodine started an anti-gun organization called MEL, which stands for “Men Elevating Leadership.” He stopped by the scene to see if anyone needed counseling.
“This stuff is sad and it’s destroying a whole community,” he said.
Watch John Dias’ report —
Another community group, Elite Learners Inc., was on the scene all day with a mobile resource van, offering support.
“We’re gonna have social workers here. It’s comforting for young people to be able to get on and talk to us here about any type of trauma,” said Camara Jackson, with Elite Learners Inc. “Just trying to aid Brooklyn and prevent the gun violence.”
The community is focused on the wellbeing of the 9-year-old girl, now left with no parents.
“I don’t even know what’s going through her head right now. I just don’t even know,” resident Ree Cearns said. “I’m shocked and speechless to even hear that.”
“Everyone would be traumatized,” said neighbor Gail Grant-Stewart. “I don’t know what’s causing them to do this killing. If you can’t get along, then walk away, walk away. Doesn’t make sense.”
Shea was also on the scene Tuesday afternoon.
“We just wanted to come and really be with the community out here. Be with our cops as well,” he said.
Neighbors said Administration for Children Services officers were on the scene Tuesday. As Dias reported, it’s unclear who is taking care of the girl, but she does have other family members.MORE NEWS: MTA Addressing Subway Safety After 2 Recent Shoving Incidents, 1 Fatal
CBS2’s John Dias contributed to this report.