Four members of a Brooklyn family, including a toddler and a teenage boy, were found shot dead early Wednesday morning, their bodies scattered throughout a three-bedroom apartment along with bullet casings and a gun, the police said.
Police officials said evidence suggested it may have been a murder-suicide — the door had been locked and a gun was found in the apartment — but investigators were still trying to determine the gunman and a motive.
The toddler’s grandmother walked into the apartment around 5 a.m. and discovered the bodies and called 911. The victims were pronounced dead at the scene, a fourth-floor apartment at the Riverdale Osborne Towers at 345 Thatford Avenue, a high-rise complex in the heart of the Brownsville neighborhood.
Deputy Chief Michael Kemper, the commanding officer of Brooklyn North detectives, declined to answer a question about where the gun was found, telling a reporter, “There’s reasons we can’t say.”
Investigators had previously been looking for a gun under the body of one of the victims, but it was not clear that was where detectives found it.
The toddler, a 1-year-old girl, was found in a bedroom along with a 27-year-old man, who the police believe was her father. A 16-year-old boy was found in another bedroom. And a 57-year-old man, who the police believe was the teenager’s father and the 27-year-old man’s stepfather, was found in a bathroom. The woman who found the bodies was believed to be his wife.
Their names were not immediately released, and detectives were still interviewing relatives and neighbors.
On a cold, clear morning, police investigators and crime scene technicians, some dressed in protective clothing and carrying plastic sheeting, went in and out of the heavily-gated apartment complex, a series of nine-story buildings arranged around a courtyard. Residents poured out in a steady rush-hour stream, on their way to work or to take children to school and day care.
“In the nature of this business, we deal with death and tragic scenes,” said Assistant Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, the commanding officer of Brooklyn North , “but when it involves an infant it’s extremely tough.”
Stephen P. Davis, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said earlier that it was clear to detectives that there was no gun near the girl, the 16 year old or the older man. But he had said they had not immediately been able to look under the body of the 27-year-old man.
He said the police were treating it as a possible case of a triple murder-suicide, but needed to do a more detailed crime scene review, a more detailed forensic review of the wounds and interviews with relatives and neighbors before piecing together what happened.