Matriarch recovering after deadly attack on Jamaican family
NEW YORK, USA – The matriarch of a Jamaican family who survived a stabbing rampage that snuffed out the lives of four members of the family, including two children aged 11 and 12, is reportedly recovering after undergoing emergency surgery here.
Christine Watson, 61, is “alert and conscious”, a sister told New York Daily News.
Watson was among five members of the family who were attacked in their home by her nephew Courtney Gordon, 38, in a horrific incident that rocked the Far Rockaway, Queens, community during the early hours of Sunday, December 4, 2023.
Gordon was later shot and killed by police after he allegedly attacked and wounded two officers who arrived at the scene to investigate the incident.
Those killed in the knife attack included Watson’s daughter Suzette Taylor, 44; her (Watson’s) son-in-law; and her two grandchildren whose names were not disclosed. The grandchildren had migrated from Jamaica recently, investigators said.
Family members were quoted as saying that Gordon was taken into the home by Watson after he became homeless. He was said to be suffering from severe mental health issues.
Concern mounted among family members who became increasingly fearful that Gordon would “fly off ” at some point. They told him he had to move out of the home as “he was acting strange and talking strange things”, the New York Daily News reported family friend, Charmaine Taylor, as saying.
Another of Gordon’s aunts, Lillian McKoy, who provided accommodation for him in her Bronx, New York home between last year and earlier this year, told reporters she was forced to put him out as well because of his behaviour.
Family members and friends are still trying to come to terms with the gruesome murders.
“This is shocking. We are all sad and devastated. We don’t take it lightly because two families have been destroyed at this moment,” McKoy said of the incident.
The tragedy marks the second time in less than a month that the Jamaican community here has been shaken by murders. Last month a Jamaican landlord, David Daniels, stabbed his two tenants and his girlfriend to death in St Albans, Queens.
That incident stemmed from a dispute over the non-payment of rent.
Daniels, who blamed stress and pressure for his actions, is currently awaiting trial on three counts of second-degree
murder and one count of criminal possession of a weapon. Prosecutors plan to seek a life sentence without parole if he is convicted.