A 29-year-old New York City teacher was found fatally stabbed in her home on Staten Island Thursday afternoon, police say.
Police responded to the home at 1446 Forest Hill Rd. at about 1:50 p.m. in the New Springville section of Staten Island and found the victim, Simeonette Mapes, stabbed several times in the back, authorities said.
Mapes' family showed up to the condo complex where she lived after police arrived.
"The entire family was here," said neighbor Rachel Havia, who arrived home at about 1:30 p.m. to find the area filled with police. "It must have been about 15 to 20 people. People were passing out on the lawn from crying, screaming, saying 'When did this happen?'"
"The husband came out screaming, saying 'My wife was murdered' or 'My wife's dead' or something like that," said Havia.
Circumstances surrounding the stabbing were not immediately clear. Early reports indicate it began as a home invasion, but police were still investigating.
Mapes had been working as a social studies teacher in Brooklyn schools since 2006, according to the Department of Education. Since 2009, she had taught at the School for Classics: An Academy of Thinkers, Writers and Performers, where her husband Jonathan Crupi also taught English.
Neighbors describe the couple as nice people who moved to the neighborhood from Brooklyn about two years ago.
They were "quiet people, kept to themselves," said neighbor Abe Pelligrini.
In a Facebook post dated June 28, Mapes said she and her husband "survived a shootout" in the Cypress Hills housing project in eastern Brooklyn, near the School for Classics.
"Thank God we are ok, I'm sure over summer school we'll find out what the fighting was about," she wrote. "The Cypress Hill Projects are no joke. To all the wanna be gangstas of Staten Island... be grateful you have what you have and stop trying to live a lifestyle you will never understand."
Residents on the block Thursday were still trying to process the intensely violent killing in their neighborhood.
"I'm going to put double blocks on the doors now because I don't want to see nothing happen to my mom," said Chip Dacey. "She lives all by herself."
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