In a devastating incident in Far Rockaway, Queens, a 38-year-old man, Courtney Gordon, embarked on a violent spree resulting in the death of four family members, including two children aged 11 and 12. The tragedy escalated when he set their residence on fire, leading to a fatal encounter with law enforcement on Sunday morning.
The crisis unfolded after a distress call to 911 by a young girl, a cousin of the assailant, who narrowly escaped by jumping out of a window. She alerted authorities that Gordon was attacking her family inside their home. NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey reported that upon the officers’ arrival, Gordon was attempting to flee with luggage. The situation rapidly deteriorated when Gordon, armed with a steak knife from the kitchen, attacked two responding officers, inflicting severe neck and head injuries.
In the ensuing chaos, a veteran NYPD officer with 28 years of service fatally shot Gordon. NYPD and Police Benevolent Association officials described the scene as one of disorder and horror, with multiple fatalities, a burning house, and a dangerous assailant.
Prior to the police’s arrival, Gordon had apparently set a couch on fire, intending to escape. Firefighters were called to extinguish the blaze, allowing officers to enter the home, where they discovered the fatally stabbed 11-year-old girl outside and three more victims inside. The victims, including a 12-year-old boy, a 44-year-old woman, and a man in his 30s, had all suffered fatal stab wounds.
An additional stabbing victim, a 61-year-old woman, was critically injured and taken to a local hospital. The two injured officers were treated at Jamaica Hospital and later released.
Gordon, who had a history of domestic violence and was last arrested in the Bronx, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. The motive for this horrific act remains unclear. Officials have not yet released the identities of the victims but confirmed they were related.
Local residents expressed shock and distress, recalling the sound of gunshots and the ensuing chaos. Long-time resident Isaac Ferguson lamented the increasing violence in the neighborhood, noting a worrying trend of escalating aggression and loss of control.
This tragic event in Queens comes on the heels of another family-related stabbing in Brooklyn, where a political volunteer allegedly murdered his mother, further underscoring the alarming rise in domestic violence cases.