The Army reservist allegedly responsible for the stabbing death of a man outside of the Farley Post Office in midtown was found dead in Philadelphia early this morning -- and a suicide note confirmed by his mother said he didn't mean to kill anyone.
The suspect, Sirmone McCaulla, 28, was found slumped in a tub with a plastic bag over his head in his girlfriend's apartment, the Daily News reported.
Sources told the paper that a television cable box was found on his McCaulla's chest, and it appeared that he may have intentionally electrocuted himself.
McCaulla's suicide note obtained by the New York Post and published in its entirety by the Daily News, who received it from McCaulla's mother, explains that he took his life to avoid the hardships that would come with a felony conviction.
"If it's hard for me to find work out of the army, it's gonna be 10 times harder if I come out as a felon," he said. "I hope this shows that the system is not built to fix a person."
In the note, he also apologized to his baby daughter and offered his take on what happened outside of the Farley Post Office on Sunday.
"I just got off the bus from New Jersey, and didn't have a worry," McCaulla wrote. He claims he and the victim, now identified as 20-year-old Christopher Gutierrez of Manhattan, bumped into each other prompting an outburst from Gutierrez.
"Watch where you're going," and "we could fight," are among the comments Gutierrez hurled at McCaulla, according to the note that was originally posted on his MySpace page, the Post says.
He said Gutierrez then took off his jacket, as if to initiate a fight -- something McCaulla claims he initially resisted.
"Keep it moving, no problems," he said. But then things turned ugly, and McCaulla lamented in his note, "Not gonna lie. Didn't mean to kill him. Just wanted to stop the threat."
McCaulla in the note mentioned that he had been a crime victim several times, including a robbery and another random attack.
Police ID'ed McCaulla Tuesday after getting tips on his identity following the release of pictures of him walking away from the scene of the crime on Sunday.
McCaulla served in the U.S. Army in Kuwait and reportedly had three prior arrests, including for burglary and robbery, according to the Daily News.
Gutierrez was stabbed twice in his upper torso Sunday evening outside the James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue and West 33rd Street at about 5:45 p.m., police said.
Cops said Gutierrez and the stabber were involved in an altercation prior to the attack, prompted by an accidental bump--something that corroborates McCaulla's MySpace account. The two were squared up to fight before the stabbing, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday. Then McCaulla began walking toward Gutierrez, wielding a knife.
"As they get closer, the perpetrator lunges -- four quick strokes or jabs -- into the victim," Kelly said.
At Gutierrez's apartment on the Lower East Side, there was an explosion of emotion upon hearing news that his killer had taken his own life.
His brother Francis Rivera,said he was "glad" McCaulla is dead. "Now his family feels what my family feels," Rivera seethed, calling the outcome "justice."
McCaulla concluded his note with a message "to those who supported" him. "I lived my life. Now it's time for me to go."