Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cops: NYPD vet kills wife, self

Rescue workers remove a victim from a home where police said there was a murder-suicide shooting in Centereach.
(Photo by Ed Betz / January 12, 2009)

BY ZACHARY R. DOWDY zachary.dowdy@newsday.com
9:36 PM EST, January 12, 2009

Marital troubles may have been a factor when a New York City police lieutenant stabbed and shot his wife to death in their Centereach home after the couple's daughter tried to stop the attack, police said Monday.

He then shot himself to death.

Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk homicide squad, said Francis Cole, 48, was off duty at about 12:30 p.m. when he stabbed Elena Cole, 46, in the chest with a kitchen knife and then shot her in the head inside the couple's home on Savoy Court.

Fitzpatrick said there was "a general atmosphere of trouble" in the house due to an impending divorce.

Fitzpatrick said that before Francis Cole stabbed and shot his wife to death, he struck his daughter in the face when the teenager tried to intervene. The daughter then called 911 and told operators her father had just shot her mother, Fitzpatrick said.

Francis Cole then turned the gun on himself. Elena Cole's 81-year-old mother was also in the home at the time of the attack, police said.Elena Cole's body was found by police in an upstairs bedroom.

Francis Cole, who had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, was transported to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Eight hours after the killings, Savoy Court remained cordoned off with police tape as detectives continued their investigation.

At least two NYPD vehicles were at the scene.

The NYPD lieutenant joined the department in 1990 and was currently assigned to the 68th Precinct in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. Francis Cole was named in two discrimination lawsuits filed against the city, one filed in 2006 in which a gay officer complained that he was given a poor evaluation because of his sexual orientation and another filed in 2004 by a black officer who complained that Cole had blocked her from getting a promotion.

Neighbors of the Coles said they were pillars of the small, quiet cul-de-sac.But word of the Coles' marital problems surprised neighbors who in interviews depicted them as the perfect couple.

"They were wonderful people," said Margaret Musso, who lives a few doors down from the Coles. "I would not want anybody else next door. They were a wonderful family. Very tight and close-knit. I can't tell you anything negative about them."

Musso said she has known the Coles for 15 years or so, and that her son often played with the Coles' son."We had no idea" there were marital problems, she said.

Another neighbor, Michael Arrigo, said he had known the Coles just as long, and that he was as surprised as anyone that they were going through a divorce.

"I couldn't ever picture anything could happen like this," Arrigo said, adding that the Coles were friendly and good neighbors."

A lot of times when they were having a party we were always invited and they were always invited when we had a party. I still don't believe this happened."

Staff writers Rocco Parascandola and Bill Mason contributed to this story.

NYPD cop kills wife, self in Centereach -- Newsday.com

My one and a half cents ...

They were wonderful people.. he was a cop with knowledge of the system.. and he killed her then himself.. things that make ya go hmmmmmmmm

REFRESH - Go to Home-Page

No comments: