Bronx man kills 4 relatives in Queens knife rampage, injures 2 officers before he’s fatally shot by police
A man killed four relatives, including two children, in a knife attack at their New York City home early Sunday, then set the building on fire and stabbed two police officers before one of them fatally shot him, officials said.
The rampage took place before dawn at a house in Far Rockaway, a seaside section of Queens.
Police were summoned to the home at about 5:10 a.m. when a “young female caller” dialed 911 and said her cousin was killing her family, the NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said at a morning news briefing.
When the officers pulled up to the driveway, they stopped a man leaving the area with luggage and after just a few seconds, he drew a knife and attacked.
This photo provided by New York City Police Dept. shows a knife recovered at a crime scene in the far Rockaway section of the Queens borough of New York on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. A man killed four relatives, including two children, in a knife attack at their New York City home early Sunday, then set the building on fire and stabbed two police officers before one of them fatally shot him, officials said. (NYPD via AP)
One of the officers was stabbed in the area of his neck and chest, the other was slashed in the head before one of them shot the assailant, Maddrey said.
An 11-year old girl was found in front of the house and taken to a hospital, where she was later pronounced dead from stab wounds.
Police weren’t immediately able to enter the home because of a fire that consumed the living room and foyer, but once inside they found three more people fatally stabbed; a 12-year-old boy, a 44-year-old woman and a man in his 30s.
Another woman, 61, was gravely injured in the attack. She is in critical condition suffering from multiple stab wounds.
Both injured police officers are fully recovering.
Phone messages left with possible neighbors of the family were not immediately returned.
The suspect was identified as Courtney Gordon, 38, who police said had been visiting the family from his home in the Bronx. The identities of his victims were not immediately disclosed.
“This scene was chaos. Multiple victims, a house on fire, and a madman on a rampage, on a mission,” Patrick Hendry, the head of the New York Police Department’s police union, said at the media briefing.
Gordon's family members tell News 12 that they had been actively trying to get Gordon into a mental health facility over the past few years.
"He just started to be disrespectful to everyone... he would start lashing out, yelling at people at the top of his voice, to where neighbors wanted to know what was going on," said Sean, cousin of Courtney Gordon. "He had to leave, and when he left he went to a bunch of shelters."
“The skill that this police officer had shooting and stopping the threat after he was being stabbed. Unbelievable skill,” Hendry said.
The fatal attack came a week after another knife rampage in the Bronx that took three lives. Police said a college student who had been “hearing voices” killed his father, his 5-year-old half-brother and the little boy’s mother.