A nine-year-old Brooklyn girl whose mum and two half-sisters were fatally gunned down by her dad hid in a closet and wept to a 911 operator, “Daddy was coming over for my birthday and he shot people.’’
The stricken child’s “heartbreaking’’ emergency call was placed amid the bloodshed that occurred during the little girl’s birthday party in Brownsville, New York, on Monday night, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said.
“She was just calling 911, you know, if you can imagine, it’s horrific, the 911, saying, ‘Daddy was coming over for my birthday, and he shot people,’” Mr Essig said of the little girl.
“And she was weeping and crying (that she) ‘didn’t have presents’. It was heartbreaking to hear that. We found her hidden in a closet.”
Cops say the girl’s father, Joseph McCrimons, 46, killed her 45-year-old mother, Rasheeda Barzey, and Ms Barzey’s two other daughters, Chloe Spears, 16, and Solei Spears, 20.
McCrimons, who was not the older girls’ dad, then fatally shot himself in the head.
The little girl, now left without either parent, “is definitely messed up”, Ms Barzey’s former brother-in-law, Hasley Derosena, told The Post.
“Today is her birthday,” he said of the child.
A resident in an apartment below Ms Barzey and her children at the Van Dyke Houses on Sutter Ave told The Post that when Barzey and McCrimons previously fought, “it was really bad”.
“(But) last night, there were no words, no argument. Just ‘pop, pop’, and after the first pop, she started wailing. Then there was three more, and there was silence,” the neighbour said.
“Dead silence. I thought, ‘Should I call 911?’ But, ‘No, you’re not sure what it was.’ Five seconds later, the sirens were coming. I’m just so thankful that baby … was in the closet.”
McCrimons and Ms Barzey had been in a “very rocky” relationship for years, relatives told authorities – although the trouble between the pair was not enough for cops to intervene, Mr Essig said.
“There were no prior domestics between them,” he said.
The downstairs neighbour said that years ago, she called cops to the address – after hearing a woman above her shout, “Help me!” The outcome wasn’t clear, although the neighbour said arriving officers checked around the building at the time.
Mr Derosena said the antics between Ms Barzey and McCrimons ruined his relationship with his former sister-in-law.
“I wasn’t supportive of the relationship, and I always told her I didn’t like it. Because of that, she stopped talking to me,” he said.
Mr Derosena added of McCrimons, “I know he was always a little bit off. He had a temper. He was not an abusive person. He had a mental illness. He was hospitalised before. He tried to kill himself, but nothing like this.”
The former in-law lamented the victims’ deaths.
“If he wanted to kill himself, fine, but why the girls?” Mr Derosena said, adding, “I didn’t know he had gun, but I knew he was capable of getting a hold of one. I knew he would be capable of doing something like this to a guy, but not to the girls.”
He called Ms Barzey “a good mum … very caring”.
McCrimons was previously convicted of manslaughter in Nassau County, Long Island.
He was 18 when he shot dead a local sanitation worker and dad Halloween night 1993 – allegedly because he was angry the victim had broken up a fight he was watching. McCrimons served several years behind bars for the slaying.
The neighbour who lived below Ms Barzey said the household above her seemed peaceful – until McCrimons would show up.
“The fights weren’t daily … arguing back and forth, banging, and then it’s over,” she said.
“I would hear banging on the wall, her screaming and him yelling at her. It was a cumulative thing that happened. This was the first time I heard them in a long time.”
This article originally appeared on NY Post and was reproduced with permission