NYPD: Man stabbed 9-year-old, woman before stabbing self and setting Bronx apartment on fire

MELROSE, Bronx (WABC) -- Police said a woman was killed and a 9-year-old girl stabbed multiple times by a man who then stabbed himself and set their Bronx apartment on fire.

According to the NYPD, Henry Maldonado, 55, is in custody after the two were attacked inside their eighth-floor apartment at the St. Mary's Houses at East 156th Street.

Police responded around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday to a barricade situation at the apartment in the Melrose section.

When they arrived, officials found the 9-year-old on the ninth floor and she told police that her grandfather had attacked her. Police said she ran out of the apartment after she was stabbed, and upstairs to a neighbor, who called 911.

She was wounded in the left leg and left shoulder, and had at least five stab wounds. She was rushed to Lincoln hospital and is stable.

The officers went to the apartment and heard voices inside, but no one opened the door when they knocked. They began to see smoke and fire coming from the apartment.

When firefighters responded, they put out the fire, which blew out the windows of the apartment. Once the fire was out, police said they found Maldonado armed with a knife inside. When he refused to drop the knife, police shocked him with a Taser and took him into custody.

"They gave him orders to drop the knife, he doesn't and the officers used the taser to subdue the male," said NYPD Deputy Chief Jason Wilcox, head of Bronx detectives.

They also found the 60-year-old woman, identified as Carmen Irizarry, in the living room. The woman, believed to be Maldonado's girlfriend, was stabbed multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene.

Maldonado is not the paternal grandfather of the 9-year-old, who police said they believe also lives there. He has been arrested 18 times before.

Early Wednesday morning, there was an argument. Maldonado allegedly stabbed Carmen in the living room and then turned on the child, who was able to run out of the apartment to Loretta Fleming's unit, one floor above.

"We heard the commotion as we were sitting with her, heard him going crazy down there with her and I guess screaming at the grandmother and she's like, he's going to come up here to get me and I'm like, no he's not going to touch you, you're in my house, I'm going to call 911," Fleming said.

"We do believe the male woke up the female and young girl, and a dispute ensued and it led to this," said Wilcox.

Police say there have been domestic issues here before, most recently in 2005.

Police said Maldonado, who lives in the apartment, also apparently stabbed himself before setting the apartment on fire. He is critical at Lincoln with fire wounds and smoke inhalation.

The investigation is continuing. Detectives are piecing together what sparked the apparent domestic attack.

"It's a really tragic situation, not only for the little girl but for the daughter of the victim," said neighbor Nia Walker.

The little girl, despite her injuries, is expected to pull through. "I'm just glad to know I was able to save her," said Loretta.

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