Yesterday, a usually quiet Upper West Side street was rocked by violence when a man allegedly shot and killed three members of a family—a father, his son and a grandfather— and injured another before falling to his death from an Amsterdam Avenue apartment between 82nd and 83rd Streets. And it's believed that shooting suspect Herbert Quinones knew the father from their times in state prison.
The NY Times reports, "If there were any doubt that Hector Quinones was intent on causing grievous harm Thursday, it would have been dispelled by one look at his hands — covered by two sets of gloves, one rubber and one leather... By the time he was through, the police said, he would kill three members of a family: Carlos Rodriguez Sr., 52; his son Carlos Jr., 24; and Fernando Gonzales, 87, who was the elder Mr. Rodriguez’s father-in-law." A gun and 12-inch knife were retrieved from the scene; it's unclear if Gonzales was shot or stabbed (or both) to death.
Carlos Rodriguez Sr.'s wife Gisela Rodriguez returned the apartment with daughter Leyanis, around 1:45 p.m., and Quinones opened the door. Gisela Rodriguez was grazed by a bullet but managed to escape the apartment; the Post says, "He then went after Gisela's daughter, who scrambled for safety and ran to a nearby bedroom. The killer was inches away from grabbing her but tripped over his low-slung pants, sources said. The horrified woman managed to slam and lock the door just in time, only to find the bloodied bodies of her brother and dad inside."
Leyanis Rodriguez then escaped through a window. According to the Daily News, "Once outside the apartment, she ran to the roof. Her screams for help drew construction workers on the roof to her aid, a source said. 'He shot them execution style,' the daughter later told relatives in the emergency room of St. Luke's Hospital, where her mother was in stable condition. 'I suffered three deaths in one minute,' she said."
With cops arriving at the scene, Quinones tried to escape by leaving through the fire escape, but fell to his death (the Post: "again, his low-slung pants fell to his ankles, tripping him and sending him falling three stories to his death") behind the building. Apparently Quinones knew Rodriguez Sr. from prison stints in the 1990s. The News says "Rodriguez Sr. [had] a criminal rap sheet that included arrests for weapons" while describing Quinones as "a career criminal," who "was released from prison Aug. 11 after doing time for assault and weapons charges" and who had managed to plea bargain down a murder charge to manslaughter in 2002.
According to the TImes, "Detectives also found a significant amount of heroin in a box and a small amount of cocaine in the apartment, said [Police spokesman Paul] Browne, who said detectives were investigating the possibility that the killings were drug-related or possibly part of a robbery." The Post reports, "The elder Rodriguez was arrested last month for carrying a knife, and [Police Commissioner] Kelly said there had been a report that the younger Rodriguez had been dealing drugs on the street, although he was never arrested."