Crime and Courts

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

2 NYPD Cops Suspended Over Response to Deadly Ax Attack in Brooklyn

A 20-year-old woman lost her life, her 21-year-old friend remains hospitalized in critical condition; a 4-year-old girl at the scene wasn't hurt

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 women
  • 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

Two NYPD officers have been suspended for allegedly failing to take "appropriate action" at the bloody scene where a young woman was hacked to death by an alleged ax-wielding murderer and her friend badly injured as a 4-year-old girl sat in a separate room, law enforcement sources familiar with the case tell News 4.

Sources tell News 4 EMS officers who encountered one of the women bleeding in the street told the two responding NYPD cops that the woman had said her friend was likely dead and that her 4-year-old daughter was still in the apartment. The EMS officers told them she begged them to go get her baby. 

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. 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, the sources told News 4. 

The 4-year-old girl was left alone in the bloody apartment with a dead woman for that duration, the sources said. She ultimately wasn't hurt but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. 

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 confirmed the suspensions, saying in an updated statement Tuesday, "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." 

News 4 has reached out to the police union.

The dead woman was identified as Savannah Rivera. She had been nearly decapitated and had multiple fingers severed, sources have said. Rivera's friend, Angela Valle, remains hospitalized in critical condition with severe injuries. 

Authorities say 34-year-old Jerry Brown, the father of the girl, stormed into the Bushwick Houses apartment with an ax early Saturday and started arguing with Valle before allegedly turning on her friend, Rivera. After Rivera had been hit multiple times with the ax, Brown allegedly started striking Valle with it. 

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 sent to a hospital for a psychological evaluation. It wasn't immediately clear when he would be arraigned, nor was it known if he had an attorney. The investigation is ongoing. 

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