A Harlem man shot and killed two of his neighbors, lit his apartment on fire, and then fatally shot himself in the head during a standoff with cops Friday, authorities said.
Bruce Anderson sparked the melee when he introduced a gun to his long-running argument with neighbor Hampton Smith, 79, in the hallway of the second floor of their W. 131st St. building around 2:45 p.m., Friday.
Anderson killed Smith by firing a bullet into his head, said police. He then went upstairs and shot Smith’s girlfriend, Yvette Rivera, 62, in the second floor apartment the couple shared, cops said.
Anderson, 59, then retreated to his own apartment. “Come and get it!” he yelled to police responding to reports of shots fired at the building.,Chief of Manhattan Detectives Martine Materasso said.
NY firefighters respond to the blaze at the crime scene in Harlem on Friday – The fire erupted on the first floor of the W. 131st St. building near Lenox Ave. about 2:50 p.m. on Friday.
EMS evacuates an injured man to an ambulance – Three people died in a Harlem building fire that sources said was started to cover up a crime Friday afternoon.
Police rushed to the scene and found the gunman had locked himself inside an apartment on the first floor.
“Come and get it!” the suspect shouted at cops from inside the apartment.
Police called for backup from the NYPD emergency services unit [ESU] and noticed smoke coming from inside the apartment, Materasso said.
Moments later, Emergency Service Unit Officers broke into the apartment and discovered Anderson in a bathroom with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, said police. Officers found two guns in the apartment.
Anderson and Hampton died at the scene, authorities said. Rivera was rushed to Harlem Hospital, where she was soon pronounced dead, sources said.
EMS remove a firefighter who was injured while responding from the scene of the fire on Friday
More than 100 firefighters showed up to put out the flames and recover three victims.
Authorities said the fire made the investigation “chaotic to say the least.”
One firefighter suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries; a second suffered minor injuries.
No other suspects are outstanding, police said.
“The men had a long-running dispute,” said a police source, citing a noise complaint by Hampton against Anderson in February.