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Cops: Man in murder-suicide had hallucinations

Nassau Police investigate the scene of a shooting

Nassau Police investigate the scene of a shooting in Bellmore, which police suspect was a murder-suicide. (March 21, 2013) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A North Bellmore mechanic who fatally shot his wife in a murder-suicide had been suffering for months from hallucinations and recently began taking an antipsychotic drug, Nassau police said Friday.

Sometime after a family dinner Wednesday, Felice Stanco, 60, shot Carolina Stanco, 61, once with his hunting rifle before turning the weapon on himself, said Det. Lt. John Azzata, head of Nassau's homicide squad. The bodies were found in an upstairs bedroom by the couple's 33-year-old son, whom police did not name. He had gone to the home, on Leonard Street, to check on his parents because neither had shown up to work.

The hallucinations began about two or so months ago, Azzata said, with delusions such as Felice Stanco insisting that he was being followed when he wasn't.

"His behavior is beginning to change. He has some type of psychological issues going on," Azzata said Friday. "He's starting to hallucinate, basically, about things that are not actually happening, and unfortunately, yesterday was the end result of all of this."

Detectives believe he had been prescribed Abilify, used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. It was unclear whether the hallucinations started before or after he began taking the drug, authorities said. The medical examiner will determine what drugs were in Felice Stanco's system.

A representative of Abilify's manufacturer, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc., couldn't be reached for comment.

Police had no records of domestic troubles involving the couple and, other than a traffic summons in 2000, Felice had no police record, Azzata said.

On Thursday, the 33-year-old son, one of the couple's two adult children, went to the home because neither of his parents -- he worked at a Jeep dealership, she as an insurance case manager -- had shown up for work, despite reputations as conscientious employees, Azzata said.

They had last been seen alive about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"They had dinner together in their home with their children," Azzata said.

Then, sometime over the next 16 hours, the husband killed his wife with the Remington rifle. The son found them about 12:30 p.m.

"It's one of those tragedies that neither you nor I will ever be able to explain," Azzata said.

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