Two men have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with a targeted attack at a home in Levittown that left a grandmother dead and her grandson wounded, Nassau County police said Thursday.
Benjamin Lopez, 23, of Blackbird Lane, Levittown, and Deangelo Gill, 19, of Southern Parkway, Uniondale, were taken into custody blocks away from the home not long after the attack Wednesday, police said.
Police initially called the two “persons of interest” on Wednesday and did not immediately detail Thursday what evidence linked the pair to the crime.
Police said they will hold a news conference Thursday to provide additional details of the investigation.
Both men face arraignment Thursday in First District Court in Hempstead, police said.
Police said officers responding to a 911 call at about 1:50 p.m. found the survivor, identified only as a man, 24, in the foyer of his North Newbridge home. The victim’s grandmother, identified as an 83-year-old woman, was found dead in another part of the house, police said.
A “large cutting instrument” was used in the attacks, police said, but it was not immediately known if it was recovered.
“They beat them severely,” Det. Vincent Garcia, a police spokesman, said Wednesday of the suspects. “This poor woman had to die because of some gripe between her grandson and some individuals, whatever the motive is.”
The grandmother was pronounced dead at the scene. She had multiple cuts on her torso, police said. The survivor in the midday assault had lacerations on his forearms and was in serious condition at a hospital Wednesday night, police said.
Two males ran from the house after the attack but were found on nearby Blackbird Lane, police said.
George Schwartz, who lives on Blackbird Lane, said he was waiting for his son to come home from school at about 2:15 p.m. when a swarm of police vehicles zoomed in to block his neighbor’s car as it was backing out the driveway.
“All the cops started pulling up, one cop after another,” Schwartz said. “He [the neighbor] was trying to drive away in his car. Didn’t work out too well when you got 13 cop cars behind you.”
He said the neighbor and a passenger, a man, got out and were handcuffed on front yard lawn. Officers examined their dufflebags, Schwartz said.
A woman identified by neighbors as the grandmother’s daughter declined to comment.
Police could be seen Wednesday night examining a silver sedan parked in the driveway of the house where the two people were handcuffed.
Detectives Wednesday night were trying to determine how the victims and the two suspects know each other and the motive for the attack. They could seen canvassing the neighborhood for witnesses and video footage of the crime.
As news of the woman’s death spread, residents on Blackbird Lane said the killing was disturbing and tragic.
“That just makes me sick to my stomach,” said a neighbor who did not want her name published.
The woman said she knew the grandmother through her son, a friend of the attack survivor.
“She did not deserve to die that way,” the woman said. “She was so sweet.”
Check back for updates on this developing story.