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Long IslandCrime

Suffolk police investigating murder-suicide in Ronkonkoma

Police near home in Ronkonkoma where police were

Police near home in Ronkonkoma where police were called around 10:10 a.m. and discovered a murder-suicide on Thursday. Both victims were pronounced dead in the home. Credit: James Carbone

An elderly man fatally shot his wife and then killed himself at their Ronkonkoma home Thursday morning in what Suffolk County police are calling a murder-suicide. 

Police received a 911 call about 10:10 a.m. from Valentin Hernandez, 90, saying he shot his wife, said Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, the commanding officer of Suffolk's Homicide Squad. Police identified her as Dorothea Hernandez, also 90.

" 'I shot my wife,' that's all he said, that was the entirety of the conversation," said Beyrer, who spoke to reporters at the scene Thursday afternoon. "He called from his landline. That's how we were able to get the address. 911 recontacted him twice. Both times he said he shot his wife."

When police responded to the home on Breeze Avenue, near Shelter Road, they found the woman dead and her husband "clinging to life." 

Both were pronounced dead at the scene after an ambulance arrived. 

Beyrer said both had health issues, but he declined to elaborate. Beyrer said investigators had not determined a motive. 

Beyrer said the murder weapon appeared to be a handgun. The husband had a pistol permit, Beyrer said. 

There was no history of domestic disturbances at the home, Beyrer said. 

Much of the street around the home was cordoned off with yellow police tape. One neighbor said he often saw the couple sitting in lawn chairs in their driveway when the weather was nice.

Family members couldn't be reached for comment on Thursday evening.

With John Valenti


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