RANDALL MANOR, Staten Island — A grandmother who was stabbed to death by a stranger was later found by first responders being cradled by her accused killer as she died blocks away from her home on a Staten Island street, sources said Tuesday.
Geetha Howie, 63, was leaving a bank in the area of Bement Avenue and Bement Court around 2:14 p.m. Monday when she was attacked about two blocks from her home, according to police. The grandmother was getting money for an upcoming family wedding she planned to attend in Sri Lanka, officials said.
The accused attacker, identified as Dantey Moore, 27, stabbed Howie in her face and torso, police said.
During the assault, a local man, Mark Long, 56, attempted to help Howie, sources said.
Moore then allegedly slashed Long's right arm, causing a laceration.
A witness and neighbor, Angela Gagliardi, described the ordeal to PIX11.
“He was like, holding the woman, and then the police came and the ambulance. ... it's crazy," Gagliardi said.
Responding officers discovered Moore cradling Howie, sources tell PIX11. Howie was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Moore was arrested, and faces charges of murder, criminal possession of a weapon and four counts of assault, police said.
He was known to police in the area, and has been arrested 34 times since 2007 — at least once for assault and several times for domestic violence, according to sources.
Prior to the deadly attack, sources say Moore was seen attempting to break into vehicles.
Moore's motive remains unclear, but sources say they are investigating attempted robbery, and if he was on drugs.