An off-duty NYPD officer shot and killed both her year-old son and the child's father before taking her own life early Monday in Brooklyn, officials said.
Law enforcement officials said Officer Rosette Samuel, 43, her boyfriend Dason Peters, 33, and the couple's child, Dylan Samuel, were found shot to death after police responded to a 911 call at a two-story row house in the borough's Flatlands section.
The apparent double murder-suicide jolted the normally quiet East 56th Street neighborhood and filled the area with police vehicles and first responders.
"It's terrible," said a choked-up Agnes Samuel, 83, who identified herself as an aunt of the dead woman. "For people to take a life like that. Oh, Lord!"
Police received a call about 8:24 a.m. from Samuel's 19-year-old son, who reported shots fired inside the house. Investigators said the older son, who wasn't identified but was the officer's son from an earlier relationship, left his bedroom when he heard his mother and her boyfriend arguing.
The teen saw Peters, who appeared to be wounded, standing in the hallway with his mother, who was cradling a 9-mm handgun, police said. Peters told the teenager to return to his room and close the door, at which point he told police he heard shots fired and then escaped through a bedroom window, police said.
The teen ran down an alley next to the home at 805 E. 56th St. and met up with first-responding police officers.
Officers found Peters dead inside by the front door with a wound to his torso. Entering a second rear bedroom, police found Samuel and her son dead on the bed, apparently having sustained gunshot wounds to the chest, a police spokesman said. The baby was clothed in a one-piece outfit and Samuel in jeans and a top, with her handgun to the right of her body, spokesman Paul Browne said.
A woman dressed in medical scrubs who identified herself as Peters' mother collapsed in tears outside the house when told of the deaths, hitting her head on the street with a loud crack. Leaping up, she wailed, "No, no, no, no," as she leaned against an officer.
"My son is my everything," she said. "What a lovely son I have."
A woman who answered the telephone at the Peters home said she was Peters' mother but wouldn't give her name and would only say, "I am in no condition to speak to anyone."
Police were uncertain about what may have triggered the killings. Samuel was a 13-year veteran of the NYPD and had been assigned to the 108th Precinct in Sunnyside, Queens, after a tour in the traffic division. Her record had no indication of impending trouble, Browne said.
Shawn White, 37, an emergency room technician who said his brother-in-law skateboards with Samuel's surviving son, described her as anti-social. "She was off," he said. "When I say 'off' I mean, like, she had nonsocial behavior."
White said Samuel used to yell at the kids, but said her teenage son is "quiet . . . just a normal kid, loved skateboarding."
With Igor Kossov