Updated 12/18/2009 09:06 AM
Three Killed In UWS Building; Shooter Falls To Death
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Police say a man killed three members of a family and wounded a fourth inside an apartment building on the Upper West Side Thursday before accidentally falling to his death.
According to police, Carlos Rodriguez Jr., 24, his 52-year-old father, Carlos Rodriguez Sr., and his 87-year-old grandfather, Fernando Gonzalez, were all found dead inside an apartment on Amsterdam Avenue between 83rd and 84th Streets just before 2 p.m.
The young man and his father were shot in the bedroom, while Gonzalez was stabbed to death in the bathroom.
Police say the killer, Hector Quinones, 44, apparently fell to his death trying to get off a fire escape. He was found dead in the backyard, wearing rubber gloves underneath leather gloves.
Giselle Rodriguez, 49, the daughter of Gonzalez, the wife of the elder Rodriguez and mother of the younger Rodriguez, arrived at the apartment with her 27-year-old daughter Lyanis and encountered Quinones.
"A struggle ensued with the perpetrator. The mother started to run out the door. She was shot, shot in the head," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
After the bullet grazed her head, Giselle Rodriguez was taken to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in stable condition.
Authorities say Lyanis Rodriguez locked herself inside the bedroom with the two corpses. Quinones knocked down the door and struggled with the woman, when his pants fell and he tripped. Lyanis Rodriguez then escaped unharmed on a fire escape, while Quinones's pants caught on the fire escape and he fell to his death while pursuing her.
A semiautomatic Hi-Point CF 380 handgun and a bloody knife were found in the apartment, according to authorities. Police also say the bedroom was ransacked.
A large amount of heroin, a small amount of cocaine and a metal lockbox were also found in the apartment.
Quinones was arrested 14 previous times, was convicted of manslaughter in 2002 and had left prison in August.
Police say that Carlos Rodriguez Sr. had eight prior arrests and had spent time in prison with Quinones, while Carlos Rodriguez Jr. sold drugs in front of the apartment a few years ago.
Witnesses in the area said the attack happened suddenly.
"It happened so fast. I went upstairs, 15 minutes, I came back down, and all of this," said one local. "[....] It's terrible, especially at this time of the year, Christmas, not good."
"The fact that this shooting occurred directly across the street from a school and a community garden shows the connection between violence and what our kids see," said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who came to the shooting site.
A Spanish-language prayer vigil for the victims was held Thursday night.