NEW YORK — Police say off-duty NYPD officer Yvonne Wu has been charged with murder and attempted murder after, officials say, she confessed to shooting two women inside a Bensonhurst home Wednesday night.
Police believe one of the victims, a 23-year-old who is expected to survive, was Wu’s ex-girlfriend. The other woman, 24-year-old Jamie Liang, died at the home. Police believe the two victims were having an intimate relationship and that this was a crime of passion.
NYPD officials said Liang was shot in the chest, possibly more than once. The 23-year-old was shot once in the torso.
Wu, 31, is a five-year veteran of the city police department.
Based on preliminary information, NYPD investigators believe Wu was inside the 23-year-old's home when the victims arrived.
The state attorney general's office says it is handling the case.
On 79th Street near 19th Avenue in Bensonhurst on Thursday, life got back to what residents expect on the block. Residents could take a quiet stroll with their pup or have a peaceful dinner on their porch — neither of which was possible Wednesday night.
“The whole street lit up with, there was like 10 police cars, three ambulances, fire trucks,” local resident Valerie Wares said about the scene Wednesday. “It was just bedlam.”
Wares has lived on the street for nearly 15 years, and Pat Santi for more than 50.
They watched in shock as their typically quiet neighborhood turned into a crime scene.
“This does not happen. You see how quiet it is here? At night, you can hear a pin drop,” Santi said. “We’re always out here.”
“I feel bad for the poor cop,” Santi added. “To really kill somebody like that over breaking up, or being with someone else, you really have to be distraught in your mind.”
“Love makes you do crazy things,” Wares said.
It was an act that undoubtedly changed three lives forever, and left neighbors uneasy and shaken.
“She threw her life away, and it’s a shame,” Santi said.
“This is my neighborhood. Are you kidding me?” Santi said. “There was a murder here. I mean, how do you sleep?”
People NY1 spoke with in the area said it was a tragedy that hit too close to home. And no one knows that more than Liang’s friends and family. According to a GoFundMe page created to help pay for funeral arrangements, she was a dental student at New York University. That post said Liang had a bright future ahead of her, was loved by so many and filled every room with her kindness and lively spirit.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported one of the victims in the shooting as being a fellow NYPD officer.