NEW YORK (AP) — A man suspected of slashing a woman in the face, fatally stabbing a store owner and setting a homeless man on fire has been shot and wounded by police in New York City, authorities said.
The attacks began at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday in Queens when a 39-year-old woman was slashed in the face. Police say three hours later, a 55-year-old liquor store owner was stabbed to death, and a 61-year-old homeless man was set afire and critically injured.
At about 5:30 p.m., police said they received a report of a burglary in progress. Police converged on the scene and two officers caught up to the suspect in the backyard of a home.
The suspect, identified as James Patrick Dillon, 23, had a knife and a beer bottle containing an accelerant, police said.
The officers ordered him to drop the knife, but he sprayed the unknown chemical onto the officers. They fired their weapons, wounding him.
“I heard pop-pop outside and thought it was firecrackers,” a witness told the Daily News. “I went outside and there were cops everywhere, running down the block with their guns drawn.”
Both officers suffered burns and were in stable condition. Dillon was hospitalized and has not yet been charged. It wasn’t clear if Dillon had a lawyer.
At a press conference, police said Dillon had been treated for psychological problems in the past and that family members said he had not been taking his medication recently.