A man stabbed his roommate to death at a mental health facility in Harlem on Friday before stabbing and critically injuring himself, police said.
The two roommates got into a knife fight during an argument at an apartment they shared on the fifth floor of the Cecil Ivory House on West 132nd Street, according to police.
The two men were arguing around 7 a.m. when tensions escalated and they began fighting with knives. One of them, a 44-year-old, stabbed the other, a 34-year-old, to death during the fight, police said.
The man who died had numerous cuts to his body, police said.
After stabbing his roommate, the 44-year-old then stabbed himself, police said. A gash on his neck was believed to be self-inflicted. He was taken to an area hospital in critical condition.
Both of the men were said to suffer from schizophrenia. The facility has a transitional housing program for formerly homeless people who are either mentally ill or suffering from addition. It is funded and licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health and can accommodate up to 24 people.
The shelter operator told News 4 New York, “[We] extend our sympathies to the family on their loss; our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Crime scene investigators, detectives and police tape filled the block of West 132nd between Seventh and Lenox boulevards after the early morning stabbing.
Neighbors were shocked to hear about the deadly stabbing. Many said this is a place for a second chance and that violence here is unheard of.
Moneke Coates lives across the street.
“I’ve come to meet and know these people and they not as crazy as people say,” Coates said.
Angelo Bush said he spent time at the Cecil Ivory House and that it made a difference in his life.
“We're all a child of God. I think if more people would admit to themselves and find out what their mental illness is they would be content with themselves,” he said.
Bush says while there were occasional disagreements at the shelter, he had never seen violence.