On December 3, 2023, In Far Rockaway, Queens, an incident happened involving deaths, many injured, and a suspect shot dead by the police. The incident, which happened in a New York residential neighborhood, left four people dead, including two children, and several others injured.
The sequence of events began when the New York City Police Department received a 911 call at around 5 a.m. The caller, a young female, reported that her cousin was in the process of killing her family members.
Two patrol officers, a 28-year veteran and a 16-year veteran, were the first to arrive at the scene on Beach 22nd Street.
Upon reaching the residence, they encountered a man later identified as 38-year-old Courtney Gordon, who was leaving the premises with luggage.
The officers engaged in a casual conversation with Gordon. However, the situation escalated when Gordon drew a kitchen steak knife and attacked the officers. One officer suffered stab wounds to the neck and chest, while the other was slashed in the head.
The officers demonstrated courage and skill. The 28-year veteran managed to draw his service weapon and fired at Gordon, ultimately stopping the assailant in his tracks. Gordon succumbed to his injuries and was dead upon arrival at the hospital.
As law enforcement secured the scene, they discovered an 11-year-old girl outside the house, fatally wounded from stab injuries.
A fire in the living room and foyer area initially impeded entry into the residence. The suspect, Courtney Gordon, is believed to have ignited a couch on fire while leaving the scene.
Once firefighters extinguished the blaze, officials found three more victims inside the home. A 12-year-old boy, a 44-year-old woman, and a man in his 30s, all related to Gordon, had succumbed to stab wounds.
Additionally, a 61-year-old woman was found in critical condition with multiple stab wounds and was rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital.
Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey commended the responding officers for their bravery, their decision to engage the suspect rather than allowing him to pass.
Courtney Gordon, a 38-year-old resident of the Bronx, had a prior arrest record related to a domestic violence incident in the Bronx. Gordon had been visiting family members in Queens at the time of the incident.
The New York, Far Rockaway community, known for its tranquility. Neighbors reported hearing an argument the night before the incident.
Residents, shocked and heartbroken, expressed their grief over the loss of innocent lives, particularly the children who were active members of the community. Walter White, a neighbor, shared that his daughter often played with the two children who lost their lives.
Law enforcement officials are investigating the motive behind the attack. The 911 caller, a witness, is currently being interviewed to light on the events leading up to the incident.
Police Chief Joseph Kenny said that the incident appears to be family-related, underlining the importance of understanding the dynamics that led to such a outcome.
The recovery of a kitchen steak knife at the crime scene questions about its role in both the police altercation and the fatal stabbings inside the residence.
The incident brings to light the nature of police work. Officers responding to what seemed like a domestic disturbance found themselves facing a life-threatening situation. The thinking and decisive actions of the officers prevented further casualties.
Patrick Hendry, the head of the New York Police Department’s police union, praised the officers’ skills and said the challenges they faced, describing the scene as chaotic.
Just a week before this incident, another knife rampage happened in the Bronx, claiming three lives. Neighbors have come forward to share their accounts, offering support to those directly affected by the incident.