NEW YORK – An Indian American woman, Geetha Howie, 63, of Staten Island, New York, was stabbed by a stranger, just steps away from her home on Monday afternoon.
According to a CBS2 report, police had initially responded to a report of an assault near the corner of Bement Avenue and Bement Court in Randall Manor just after 2 p.m. and upon arrival, discovered the Indian American as well as a 56-year-old Good Samaritan, Mark Long.
Howie had at least 15 stab wounds to her face and torso and Long was slashed in the arm as he attempted to save her.
Medics then transported Howie to Richmond University Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
Long was treated at the scene and told CBS2 that he had heard the commotion and was slashed when he tried to intervene.
“As I got closer I realized it was a man stabbing a woman. I moved in, I yelled at him to stop, I shouted out to one of the neighbors to call 911 and we just faced each other. I just tried to talk to him, keep his attention off the woman, and just basically tried to hold him there until the police got there,” Long told CBS2.
CBS2 also reported that the 27-year-old suspect was cradling Howie’s body when police arrived at the scene and was taken into custody without incident.
Members of Howie’s family say that she had left the bank when she encountered the alleged killer, while one of the relatives believe it was a robbery-gone-wrong.
“She loved me, she loved her family. We have a three-year-old daughter who she absolutely loves. It was her granddaughter. They were just inseparable. It’s just a senseless tragedy,” Howie’s son-in-law Daniel Fazzina told CBS2.
Fazzina added that the whole family was in town to head to Sri Lanka for Howie’s nephew’s wedding; instead, they’ll be planning a funeral for her.
The investigation continues in search for a motive behind the deadly stabbing.