Police say the father, Joseph McCrimon, then shot himself in the head on a sidewalk about a block away, leaving the girl alone in her fourth-floor Brooklyn apartment Monday night.
“It would tear your heart out to see the young girl from that crime,” New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told reporters Tuesday.
McCrimon, 46, is believed to have taken at least two guns to the public housing complex around 11:15 p.m., Shea said on New York City television station NY1. After the shooting, which Shea described as “domestic in nature,” video captured McCrimon take his own life.
Police said they found a gun on McCrimon’s body and another nearby. The 9-year-old girl, who has not been identified, was uninjured.
The girl’s mother and McCrimon had been in a “very rocky” relationship for 20 years but had no reported history of domestic violence or 911 calls, Chief of Detectives Joseph Essig said, according to New York City television station ABC7. McCrimon had “left in a very agitated state to meet” the mother on the night of the shootings, Essig said.
Police identified the woman as Rasheeda Barzey, 45, and her daughters as Solei Spears, 20, and Chloe Spears, 17. McCrimon was not the father of Solei and Chloe, the Associated Press reported.
McCrimon had a history of engagement with the criminal justice system, including serving several years for manslaughter, New York state records show. The conviction stemmed from a 1993 Halloween-night shooting in which McCrimon, then 18, was watching a fight on Long Island and got into a tussle with another man, according to a New York Daily News article from the time. A shot from McCrimon’s gun entered the 28-year-old man’s back while the two were wrestling.
A bank robbery later sent McCrimon, whose name is also spelled in some records as McCrimons, to prison again. Federal prosecutors said McCrimon entered a Wells Fargo Bank and gave the teller a note threatening to detonate a bomb unless the teller gave him $20,000. The teller handed over $10,000 in cash, prosecutors said, and McCrimon fled with another man in a car.
McCrimon had also robbed another bank 16 days earlier, prosecutors alleged in a sentencing memorandum. He ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery and was sentenced in 2014 to about four years in prison, court records show.
Barzey worked as an assistant coordinating manager at New York City Health and Hospitals, which operates the city’s public hospitals, according to her LinkedIn page. A spokesman for the hospital system confirmed that she was employed there.
A tribute on Facebook from a woman who identified herself as Barzey’s friend showed Barzey dancing around an office while others laugh.
Solei Spears was a junior at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York system, majoring in political science, a college spokeswoman said. Spears served as the communication chair for the campus’s Black Student Union, where members remembered her positivity, sense of humor and desire to impact her community.
“She was a brilliantly minded creative individual who brought so much knowledge and insight to our organization,” the organization wrote Wednesday on Instagram. “Hardworking, activist, artist, hip hop enthusiast, smart, beautiful, and so many more words can be used to describe her.”
“These past two weeks, I was of service and a common-held purpose,” she wrote. “Though, now having left, the people of Puerto-Rico and the island served me in more ways than one, and for that I am forever grateful.”