An Amityville man is charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his father Thursday while he participated in a Zoom video chat with about 20 others, Suffolk County police said.
Thomas Scully-Powers, 32, killed his father Dwight Powers, 72, shortly after noon at their Amityville home on Dixon Avenue, said Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, commanding officer of Suffolk's Homicide Squad.
Multiple people who were on the video chat, the nature of which Beyrer declined to disclose for privacy reasons, called 911.
Police said Scully-Powers fled the residence after the stabbing but was caught by officers shortly before 1 p.m. near Ketcham Avenue and Cedar Street in Amityville.
"We don't know what they witnessed. There were a number of people on this conference call. We think there were about 20 people," Beyrer said. "They just noticed him fall off the screen and then they heard heavy breathing."
He added: "We are looking into whether or not anyone did actually witness the attack."
Beyrer credited the video chat participants who called 911. He said officers were delayed between 15 to 20 minutes in arresting Scully-Powers because the Zoom participants were not sure where Dwight Powers lived.
"They all did the right thing. They were all concerned about their friend. It was horrible that they had to witness this," Beyrer said.
Investigators were in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the Amityville residence Thursday afternoon, Beyrer said. He was hopeful the knife used in the attack would be found, he said. Investigators were looking for the knife in the home Thursday night.
Beyrer said the motive in the stabbing was under investigation but there was no indication it was related to the pandemic. He declined to say if Scully-Powers made any statements to investigators. An autopsy will determine how many times Powers was stabbed by his son, Beyrer said.
Police said Scully-Powers was hospitalized with minor injuries he sustained when he jumped out of a second-story window of the Amityville residence to flee.
He is to be arraigned Friday.