Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Woman Fights for Life After NYC Ax Attack Kills Her Friend, Spares Child

A child was unharmed but taken to Woodhull Hospital for observation

What to Know

  • A 21-year-old Brooklyn woman remains hospitalized after an ax attack that killed her 20-year-old friend over the weekend, authorities say
  • The father of the 21-year-old's young daughter allegedly came to their Bushwick Houses home with an ax and attacked the woman
  • The child was not hurt but was taken to a hospital for evaluation; the suspect was taken into custody about 20 hours after the attack

A 21-year-old woman remained hospitalized in critical condition over the weekend after an ax attack, allegedly by her 4-year-old daughter's father, claimed the life of another young woman in Brooklyn, authorities say. 

The 4-year-old girl was at the Brooklyn apartment at the time of the attack early Saturday. She was not hurt, but was taken to a hospital for observation. 

Authorities say 34-year-old Jerry Brown, the father of the girl, stormed into the Bushwick Houses apartment around 1:30 a.m. Saturday and started arguing with the child's mother, Angela Valle. 

Brown had an ax and as the argument escalated, allegedly hit his ex's friend, Savannah Rivera. He kept attacking the Rivera with the ax, striking her multiple times, police say. Brown then went after Valle, the sources said.

She stumbled out of the apartment and into the street, where she passed out. An Uber driver found her and called 911. Rivera was pronounced dead at the scene; she had nearly been decapitated and had multiple fingers severed, law enforcement sources said. 

Rivera was just 20 years old. 

Police recovered the ax from the building’s compactor room. It’s believed Brown may have thrown the ax down the trash chute. He was arrested late Saturday on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, as well as two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. 

Brown was expected to be arraigned at some point Monday. By late morning, he was still in a hospital where he was being treated for injuries to his hands he allegedly sustained in the attack on the two women.

Attorney information for him wasn't immediately clear Monday. 

Two officers who responded to the deadly scene have been suspended after the NYPD said the cops failed to take “appropriate action.”

Sources tell News 4 the officers waited too long before entering the apartment where the attack had just taken place.

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