This story was reported by Lauren Cook, Anthony M. DeStefano, Meghan Giannotta and Chau Lam with The Associated Press. It was written by Cook and Giannotta.
An employee stabbed three infants and two adults at a Queens nursery early Friday, the NYPD said.
Two girls and one boy, ranging in age from 13 days old to 1 month old, suffered serious injuries during the attack, police and the Queens district attorney's office said. All three infants were hospitalized in serious but stable condition.
Police were summoned to a house that also serves as a neighborhood nursery on 161st Street in Flushing about 3:40 a.m., police said. They found that the employee, YuFen Wang, 52, had also stabbed two adults, police said.
A female victim suffered “stab wounds about the body" and a man, the father of one of the infants, was stabbed in the leg, police said.
Wang was found unconscious in the basement of the home with self-inflicted slash wounds to her arm, police said. Police treated her and took her into custody.
Wang was undergoing a psychological evaluation and charged with five counts of attempted murder, police said.
All five victims and the suspect were taken to New York-Presbyterian Queens hospital and are expected to survive, police said.
A butcher knife and meat cleaver were found at the scene, police said.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement: “We pray that all of the victims will be fine and will survive these injuries. We are hoping these young babies — small and so very fragile — are also strong enough to overcome this horrible act of senseless violence.”
Police have heard reports from the community that the location was a "birthing center" at which mothers from China would come to give birth in the United States, an NYPD official said. The children are cared for at the facility, possibly as a way for parents to gain legal status through the American citizenship of the baby, the official said.
State records indicate that a business called Mei Xin Care Inc. was registered at the address, but there was no listed phone number for that company.
The address is not included in the Office of Children and Family Services’ online database of licensed day-care facilities in the area. However, the NYPD said they were presented with “some paperwork” indicating the home was operating as a day care.
A spokeswoman for OCFS said the center was not licensed or regulated by the agency. By regulation, OCFS-monitored child-care programs are not allowed to care for infants less than 6 weeks old unless a facility has received prior approval from the agency, the spokeswoman said.
“OCFS is saddened by this horrific situation and investigating it as a possible illegal operation,” the spokeswoman said.
Nine babies were being cared for at the facility at the time of the attack.
Both of the adults who were stabbed live at the home, police spokesman Thomas Antonetti said, adding that the suspect worked at the nursery but did not live there.
Police say they were previously sent to the address in 2011 after receiving a call of children screaming.
Correction: The youngest victim was 13 days old, authorities said. An earlier version of this story had an incorrect age due to incorrect information provided by police.