Authorities are investigating the deaths of two men and a woman in Newburgh as a triple homicide.
Police responding to a 911 call early Wednesday reporting shots fired found the victims with gunshot wounds in a multi-family home on South William Street.
Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene and the third died at the hospital a short time later.
Ava Lewis said her cousin John Lewis was one of the male victims. She said the other male victim was a longtime friend of John.
In tears at the scene of the shooting, Ava Lewis said her cousin and his friend were generous people.
"They'd help you. These guys will help you," she said. "They'll give you their last dollar if they have it, they'll give it to you."
Neighbor Cindy Koonce said the unidentified woman was a "nice person."
"She didn't deserve this," she said. "No one deserves this right here."
A Manhattan judge recently called Newburgh "the most pathetic place" in the state, citing its reputation for gang activity and drug-related violence. Longtime residents Wednesday couldn't help but agree as they stood behind police tape.
"This is the city of death," declared one woman. "The devil owns this town."
"This right here just sent a message. It sent a message that nobody in Newburgh is safe."
State police are assisting in the investigation.
Authorities ask anyone with information about the shootings to call Newburgh police at (845) 561-3131.