Three of the children were the suspect's step-children, while the fourth, just 6 years old, was his own son. The incident started as a domestic dispute, but then turned into a stabbing and slashing, followed by a police chance and finally, an attempted suicide.
"Basically it was a domestic dispute, with each spouse accusing the other of infidelity," Jersey City Deputy Police Chief Peter Nalbach said.
The dispute, at the couple's home on Rutgers Avenue, went south quickly and without warning. Police say 41-year-old Jai Finley was arguing with his wife Tashiba in bed around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when he decided to leave, saying they'd stay friends. But a few minutes later, he came back.
"She thought he was going to bend over and give her a kiss and leave," Nalbach said. "But he started slashing her."
Tashiba suffered 14 stab wounds in total. Her 16-year-old daughter heard the screaming and came to help. She was stabbed four times in the chest.
Jai Finley's 8- and 10-year-old stepdaughters were slashed as well. The couple's 6-year-old son took the 5-inch hunting knife to his shoulder and his knee.
After getting dressed, police say Jai Finley got in his car and drove off. Officers found the car crashed through a PSE&G substation. Finley told police he was trying to commit suicide. He climbed a fence to flee, but he was grabbed by officers and cuffed following a violent struggle.
Finley is facing numerous charges, including several counts of aggravated assault. The wife and 16-year-old daughter are listed in serious but stable condition. All the victims are expected to survive.He appeared in court Wednesday, handcuffed and with rows of stitches visible on his head and face. Bail was set at one million dollars.