Police shoot, kill man holding mom in headlock with knife to her throat in the Bronx

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, December 24, 2023
Police shoot, kill man holding mom in headlock with knife to her throat
Anthony Carlo has the latest details.

BEDFORD PARK, the Bronx (WABC) -- Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting in the Bronx that left one man dead following an apparent family dispute Saturday morning.

At around 11 a.m., officers responded to what they described as "a family call for help" inside an apartment on Creston Avenue in Bedford Park.

As officers arrived at the scene, they say a 19-year-old woman, the girlfriend of the man killed, came screaming out of the apartment with apparent slice wounds to her face.

Upon entering the apartment, officers say they saw the man, identified as 30-year-old Michael Dotel, holding his mother in a headlock with a large carving knife to her throat. They say the 45-year-old woman was visibly injured and was bleeding from the area.

"My son became crazy and tried to kill me," the man's mother said in Spanish. "I felt like I was having a heart attack."

According to police, Dotel threatened to kill his whole family and himself.

Officers say they instructed the suspect numerous times to drop the knife before firing a shot that struck him in the head.

Dotel was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"Today was a complete tragedy during this holiday season. Thank God our cops got here quickly and saved this family from further harm," said NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell during a press conference after the incident. "Their training kicked in, saved the mom's life and saved this family's life."

It's unclear what triggered the incident, but police say there is a documented history of domestic violence in the apartment.

Plus, residents say they have experienced dangerous incidents in their building before.

One woman, who chose to remain anonymous, shared video of a recent incident where a resident was caught on camera waving a kitchen knife around in front of the building. She says it is one thing after another.

"My neighbor tried to set his apartment on fire twice back-to-back...he lives right next to me," she said.

Many residents say they want out of building known as the Bedford Greenhouse, which offers supportive housing for people with mental health and substance abuse issues.

"My daughter told me today, 'Mom, if we don't find another apartment, I want to go into a shelter, I don't want to live here no more,'" said one resident.

The investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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