Man who Fatally Stabbed 4 Stopped by NYPD Outside Burning Home

Dec. 4, 2023
One NYPD officer was stabbed in the neck and chest and another was stabbed in the head before one of them was able to shoot a suspect accused of killing four relatives and setting fire to a Queens home.

A crazed attacker fatally stabbed four relatives — including an 11-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy — and then wounded two NYPD cops before they shot him to death outside his family’s burning Queens home on Sunday morning, according to police.

Cops raced to the home on Beach 22nd St. near Elk Drive in Far Rockaway at around 5:10 a.m. after a young girl called 911 to say her cousin was “killing her family members,” NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said.

The cousin, identified by police as Courtney Gordon, 38, had moved into the home weeks earlier as he faced homelessness in the wake of a separation from his wife, his distraught sister told the Daily News.

“This scene was chaos,” said Patrick Hendry, president of the Police Benevolent Association, the NYPD’s largest union. “Multiple victims, a house on fire and a madman on a rampage.”

When two uniformed cops arrived at the home, tucked behind a long driveway, they saw a man carrying luggage as he walked out. “They engaged him in basically a casual conversation. ‘Hey, did you hear anything, do you know what’s going on?'” Maddrey said.

Within 10 seconds, the man nodded and pulled out a kitchen steak knife. “He immediately attacked both officers,” Maddrey said.

He stabbed one of the cops in the neck and chest area and the other in the head before one of them, a 28-year NYPD veteranidentified by sources as Edmond Decio, opened fire and fatally shot him, Maddrey said. Both officers were hospitalized but expected to recover.

“A couple of millimeters one way or the other, it could have been a problem,” a police source said of Decio’s injuries.

Cops found an 11-year-old girl stabbed in front of the home. She died at Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

Gordon lit a living room couch on fire as he left so police couldn’t get into the residence until firefighters extinguished the blaze, cops said.

Once inside, they found three more dead in two back bedrooms — a 12-year-old boy, a 44-year-old woman and a man in his 30s, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said.

Another victim, who Gordon’s sister identified as their 61-year-old aunt Christine Watson, was stabbed multiple times and was in critical condition at Mount Sinai Queens, Kenny said.

“My aunt took him in because she felt sorry for him because he’s telling her he’s trying to get his life together,” said the sibling, who asked not to be named. “I wanted to tell her, this is bigger than us, to let him go back to the shelter, but no one was listening to me.”

Watson invited Gordon into the home where she lived with the other victims in the hopes of helping him put his life back together after he separated from his wife, lost his home and his job.

“My aunt took him in because she felt sorry for him,” his sister said. “I knew it was going to be bad.”

Gordon, whom his sister described as “suffering deeply deeply from depression and mental illness” had been repeatedly hospitalized due to his deteriorating mental health.

One neighbor, a 24-year-old man who declined to give his name, awoke to the sound of gunshots.

“About 45 minutes later the police came knocking that there was a fire and we need to go,” he said.

He hadn’t seen any past trouble at the victims’ home.

“I watched those kids grow up. It’s an open space and it’s a little community up the driveway, so all the kids would run around and play and stuff like that,” he said. “I guess you can’t even trust family nowadays. It’s wicked work, you turn on them like that. … It’s just evil what was done.”

Jose Cruz, 50, said he heard the shots while he was out walking his dog.

“I never seen anything like this. This neighborhood is quiet,” he said. “I saw the fire from my balcony. It was in the back and front of the house … I saw the bodies.”

The victims’ names have not yet been released.

The killer had just one prior arrest, for a strangulation domestic violence case in the Bronx, cops said. Cops said they had never been called to the Far Rockaway home for any incidents involving Gordon in the past.

Cops were interviewing the quick-thinking girl who called 911 at the 101st Precinct stationhouse. “They may be able to shed some light on what occurred,” Kenny said.

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©2023 New York Daily News.

Visit at nydailynews.com.

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