An ongoing dispute between a 62-year-old Queens landlord and his 48-year-old tenant turned tragic today when Eulith "Sonny" Reid reportedly bludgeoned Hettie Patterson with a machete before turning the blade on himself. Both were transported to Jamaica Hospital where they were pronounced dead. According to neighbors, Patterson may not have paid her rent in a few months—or possibly Reid was refusing to accept it in an attempt to force her out.
Police were called to Reid's building, 111-11 143rd Street in South Jamaica, around 11:30 a.m. and found Patterson lying on the ground in the building's yard with severe head trauma. They later found Reid inside a bedroom in the first floor apartment with a "possible self-inflicted stab wound to his neck," as well as cuts on his wrists. A second-floor tenant is said to have witnessed the initial attack.
Patterson's boyfriend tells the Post that "Reid was trying to force Patterson out because he wanted to move his kids from the island of Jamaica into the apartment" and had not accepted rent in the past three months. Other neighbors offered different stories, however, with at least one telling the News that Patterson, a home-health aide who lived in the building's basement with her teenage son, "had not paid rent for the past two years." Another neighbor said of "the normally soft-spoken landlord," who has a union construction job: "He just snapped."