Three family members shot dead in their Upper West Side apartment
Authorities outside 492 Amsterdam Ave. on Thursday afternoon (Photo: Jason Fink)
A man, his father, and his grandfather were shot and killed Thursday afternoon in their apartment in an upscale section of the Upper West Side, and the suspected killer plunged to his death off the fire escape, police said.
The youngest victim’s mother, 49-year-old Giselle Rodriguez, walked in on the violent confrontation, which may have been drug-related, and was pistol-whipped by the attacker, authorities said. She was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital with head injuries.
Police responded to the third-floor apartment, on Amsterdam Avenue between 83rd and 84th streets, a bustling block of stores, restaurants and bars, shortly before 2 p.m. to find the four dead bodies.
There had been a struggle inside the apartment, which police said was turned upside down, with furniture and other objects strewn about. Police found an automatic pistol at the scene they believe was the murder weapon.
A bloody butcher knife was also found, though it was not known at press time whose it was; it may have been used by one of the family members in self-defense, police said.
The father and son — Carlos Rodriguez Sr., 52, and Carlos Rodriguez Jr., 24 — were found in the bedroom. The grandfather, 87-year-old Fernando Gonzalez, was in the bathroom.
The shooter was identified as Hector Quinones, 44, who published reports said had gotten out of jail just two days before.
A neighbor, who would give his name only as Mike, said Gonzalez was known in the area because he used to walk his young granddaughters to school every day.
Crowds lined the sidewalk Thursday afternoon as detectives came in and out of the building. Many said they could not recall anything similar in the tony, neighborhood just blocks from the Natural History Museum.
“I’m shocked,” said Christopher Mackin, who lives across the street.
The AP contributed to this story.