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Police kill man who stabbed wife

Officers survey the crime scene last Thursday night for evidence after police shot and killed a man who refused to drop a knife he used on both his wife and himself. Photo by Ken Maldonado
TimesLedger Newspapers

Police shot and killed an enraged, knife-wielding man last Thursday night after he used the weapon to stab both himself and his wife, the NYPD said.

According to police, officers responded to a 911 call around 8:30 p.m. from a married couple’s 17-year-old daughter that her father stabbed himself in the neck and collapsed. When they arrived at their apartment, at 61-47 223rd Place, near Cardozo High School in Oakland Gardens, police said they saw that Samuel Rivers, 50, had used a knife on both himself and his wife Sharon Rivers, 51, and was standing outside the home.

After refusing to drop the weapon in an outdoor confrontation near the courtyard outside the apartment, officers shot Samuel Rivers in the neck and chest, killing him, police said.

Police said there was no evidence of any previous criminal history for either Samuel Rivers or his wife.

Both were taken to North Shore-LIJ Hospital in Manhasset, L.I., where the husband was pronounced dead on arrival and his wife was listed in critical condition with stab wounds to her chest and neck, police said.

It was unclear whether Samuel Rivers died from the gunshots or self-inflicted knife wounds, police said.

Police recovered the knife from the scene.

Crime tape and spattered blood were still visible at the scene Friday morning as cops said they were still investigating and looking for evidence involving an apparent domestic dispute.

Danny Park, 48, has lived with his family in the upstairs apartment for four years. According to Park, Sharon Rivers lived with her 17-year-old daughter in the downstairs apartment for almost 20 years. He said his neighbors were quiet and all of his passing encounters were friendly.

“I would say ‘hi’ to them all the time,” Park said. “They were always quiet and nice. They never had any problems with us.”

A nearby neighbor who lives on the other side of the courtyard said she heard what sounded like a firecracker early last Thursday night, but did not think it was a gunshot. She said children often play in the area and she never would have guessed that there was a violent dispute across the courtyard.

After hearing the news of what had happened, the neighbor said she was caught off-guard and never suspected such violence so close to home.

“I was devastated to hear the news,” the neighbor said. “I’m thinking this was an isolated incident in this neighborhood. But timing is of the essence. If a kid might have seen that, it could be terrifying to them.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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