NEW YORK (TCD) -- A mother was killed and two of her young children are "fighting for their lives" following a violent hammer attack at their Brooklyn apartment Wednesday afternoon.
New York Police Department Chief of Patrol John Chell spoke at a news briefing Wednesday and said officers from the department’s 72nd Precinct in Sunset Park received a call about an assault in progress. Chell said the attack occurred just before 3 p.m., but the New York Times reports police later corrected the timing to approximately 2 p.m.
Chell said responding officers "quickly apprehended the subject who was trying to walk out of the building." He reportedly had "blood throughout his body." He has been identified as 47-year-old Liyong Ye.
As officers went upstairs to check the apartment, they found three victims who were "seriously injured" during a hammer attack. The mother, who the New York Times identified as 43-year-old Zhao Zhao, died from her injuries, while her 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
Chell described the apartment as "tight quarters" and said three families lived in a three-bedroom apartment.
Chell called the attack "horrific and senseless," and later described it as "brutal."