PROSPECT LEFFERTS GARDENS, Brooklyn — Police are searching for at least one man who they say fatally stabbed a couple in front of their home. The crime was called in as an attempted robbery, but detectives are considering all possible motives. Meanwhile, the community mourns the loss of the well-known and well-liked couple.
Hazel Brown, 59, and Stephenson Bonaparte, 65, were attacked by a masked man in front of their home in the 200 block of Winthrop Street around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The couple's grown daughter, who lives with them, ran to a neighbor's house, holding her toddler, to report the attack, shortly after it happened. She was seen in surveillance video, recorded by a neighbor, headed back to the scene, clutching her daughter, after she’d run to the neighbor's home for help.
“She said she didn't even see her dad on the floor,” the neighbor, who declined to give her name, told PIX11 News. “She didn't see him, and he was somewhere in the yard."
Brown, the mother, was able to get into the house, where she died. Bonaparte, her husband, died at the hospital, a few blocks away.
The couple had walked home from their religious goods store about a mile-and-a-half away, on Rutledge Street. All of the other shopkeepers in the block spoke well of the couple.
“He's a great guy, very, very good,” Mohammed Rashed, who works at the deli two doors down from the couple’s shop, King Soloman Religious Good, said. “A gentleman, talkative - like nobody would harm him or nothing.”
That was echoed by another shopkeeper, who chose to only give his first name, Chris. He runs a photography business a few doors over from the couple’s shop.
“I’ve never heard any situation, any bad thing about them,” Chris said.
That’s something that homicide detectives now consider, as they try to figure out if this was an attempted robbery, or something else.
Neighbors are worried about the neighborhood while police investigate.
“We're definitely going to have a meeting where I live,” a neighbor who lives close to the couple’s home, but who declined to give her name, said. She said the point of the community meeting is to “make sure something like this doesn't happen again.”