A man who was attending his young daughter’s birthday party fatally shot his girlfriend and two of her kids on Monday night, before turning the gun on himself, police said.
Police have identified the gunman has Joseph McCrimon, a 46-year-old Mount Vernon resident. They say he arrived at the Van Dyke Houses in Brownsville at around 11:15 p.m. in an “agitated” state, then killed his girlfriend, Rasheeda Barzey, and her two daughters from a separate relationship, Chloe Spears, 16, and Solei Spears, 20.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Chief of Detectives James Essig said that the victims had been celebrating the ninth birthday of Barzey’s and McCrimon’s daughter at the time of the killing. The young girl, who was not harmed, called police following the triple homicide.
“Daddy’s coming to my birthday, he didn’t bring presents,” the terrified girl told the 911 operator, according to Essig. “It’s really heart wrenching,” the chief added.
McCrimon was found a block from the building with a fatal, apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. An NYPD spokesperson said they recovered two firearms from him.
McCrimon and Barzey had a two decades-long relationship that relatives described as “very rocky,” according to Essig. There were no previous 911 calls related to domestic incidents at the address, police said.
Between 2010 and 2018, there were 558 domestic violence homicide incidents across New York City, accounting for 18% of all killing across the five boroughs, according to city data. Survivors groups have warned that the pandemic may have exacerbated domestic violence incidents, even as police tallies have remained largely steady.
McCrimon was previously convicted of manslaughter more than 25 years ago, and was arrested again in 2013 for an alleged bank robbery.