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One dead, three critical in mass ‘chemical suicide’ attempt in Queens

Police investigate a chemical suicide attempt at 222-15 Hempstead Ave. in Queens Village, Queens on Jan. 14, 2021.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Police arrested an emotionally disturbed 30-year-old man who is believed to have stabbed his father to death and possibly poisoned three other members of his family early Thursday morning in Queens Village. 

Initial reports from fire department sources indicated the emergency call, which came in around 6:30 a.m., on Jan. 14 at an apartment building at 221-15 Hempstead Ave., was a possible “chemical suicide.”

Officers from the 105th Precinct initially responded to the location after receiving a 911 call about an emotionally disturbed person. Upon arriving at the scene, police reported they observed a 30-year-old man, who was believed to be the subject of the call, acting erratically in the hallway.

The man told officers that he had hurt someone inside the apartment, according to the NYPD. 

Shortly after entering the home, police said, the officers found an unconscious 72-year-old man, who is believed to be the suspect’s father, with multiple stab wounds laying on the floor of the apartment bathroom. Responding EMS units pronounced him dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, law enforcement sources said, officers also found three people — a 70-year-old woman believed to be the emotionally disturbed man’s mother, a 31-year-old man believed to be his brother and a 29-year-old woman believed to be the brother’s wife — unconscious and unresponsive laying on a mattress inside the living room. 

EMS units brought them to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in critical condition.

The nature of their injuries is unknown at this time, law enforcement sources said.

The erratic 30-year-old man was taken into custody Thursday morning and was being evaluated at a nearby hospital, according to authorities.

Police have yet to release the name of the suspect, the victim, or the injured family members.

The fire department determined that there were not high levels of carbon monoxide inside the residence. Additionally, the NYPD emergency response unit conducted a test of the air and found no irregularities, according to the police. 

Prior to Thursday morning’s incident, there had been no 911 calls made about any domestic violence or emotionally disturbed people, according to the NYPD. 

The investigation, being carried out by the 105th Precinct’s detective squad, is ongoing.

This is a developing story; check with amNY.com later for additional details. Updated at 1:26 p.m.

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