Young Woman Hacked to Death in NYC Ax Rampage Was Pregnant; 2nd Victim Still Fighting for Life: Prosecutors

Two NYPD officers were suspended for allegedly failing to take "appropriate action" at the bloody scene; one later resigned and one was reinstated

What to Know

  • Jerry Brown, 34, allegedly came to his girlfriend's home with an ax last month and attacked her and her friend, Savannah Rivera
  • Rivera was pregnant and died, authorities said in announcing Brown's indictment last week; it wasn't clear how far along she had been
  • Brown's girlfriend remains hospitalized in critical condition; her 4-year-old daughter, who was there at the time, was not physically harmed

The 20-year-old woman who was hacked to death and nearly decapitated in an ax-wielding rampage at her friend's Brooklyn apartment last month was pregnant, prosecutors said Friday as they announced an indictment in the case.

Savannah Rivera was pronounced dead at the scene of the April 20 bloodbath in East Williamsburg. She happened to be at the apartment of her friend, Angela Valle, when Valle's boyfriend, Jerry Brown, stormed into the home overnight, authorities have said. Valle was also hacked up, sliced across her head, torso, arms and throat, but managed to make it outside when the suspect left. 

Valle stopped an Uber car and the driver called 911. Meanwhile, her 4-year-old daughter was in the apartment alone for nearly an hour with Rivera's cut-up body. It wasn't clear how far along Rivera had been along with her pregnant, but prosecutors' update in the case Friday marked the first time that became public.

Valle, meanwhile, remains hospitalized in critical condition more than a month later. Her daughter was physically unharmed. 

Brown, 34, was indicted Friday on charges of murder, attempted murder and assault. He surrendered to police a day after the attack; he allegedly confessed to hacking up Rivera and told cops he threw the ax and his girlfriend's cellphone in the building's incinerator, then washed the blood off his hands before fleeing.

Brown is being held without bail and isn't due back in court until August. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the top count against him. Attorney information for Brown wasn't immediately available. 

"The brutality of this attack, which claimed the life of a pregnant mother and left a second young mother fighting for her life, is truly appalling," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement last week. "These horrifying alleged actions have traumatized two families and shocked our community. I intend to prosecute this case vigorously and hold the defendant responsible for the violent crimes with which he is charged."

In the rampage aftermath, two NYPD officers were suspended for allegedly failing to take "appropriate action." One of those officers, a man, resigned. The other, a woman, was reinstated after a 10-day unpaid suspension but she was transferred to another precinct, law enforcement sources said.  

The two officers allegedly didn't go up to the bloody scene in the Bushwick Houses for nearly an hour, despite being told by EMS that a bleeding Valle said her friend may be dead and her daughter was still inside the apartment. 

Sources said EMS relayed that information to the two suspended officers. The two cops said the case fell within NYPD housing's jurisdiction; they radioed in an "assault from the past" with a possible knife, but didn't mention the child, the ax or the possibly dead woman at the scene, the sources said.

Sources told News 4 that when a police supervisor arrived, the cops didn't share the information EMS had told them, according to the sources. They didn't go upstairs to the apartment, remaining down by the entrance for nearly an hour.

Another law enforcement source tells News 4 the officers gave "partial information" to other cops who responded and left, making no attempt to do an investigation and clear the scene or notify a supervisor. 

The NYPD previously said in a statement, "The Brooklyn North Investigations Unit has reviewed the response and actions of two officers from the 83 precinct in this incident, and both are suspended for failure to take appropriate action."

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