Police found bottles of mystery liquid and blood-stained scissors at a family home where a "chemical incident" resulted in one death and three hospitalisations.
New York Fire Department rushed to the apartment in Queens in the early hours of Thursday morning after police called in the incident as a potential mass suicide attempt.
They'd responded to a 911 call reporting an "emotionally disturbed person" at the building on Hampstead Avenue.
Inside they found Jamie Walker, 30, waiting in the hallway.
Joseph Kenny, Assistant Chief to the Detective Bureau said he was acting "very incoherently" and "made statements that he had injured somebody inside of the apartment."
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Officers followed a trail of blood inside the dwelling where they found the body of a 72-year-old man in the bathroom. He had multiple stab wounds to the abdomen and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cops also found a pair of bloodied scissors were found lying in the hallway, but it's not yet been determined if they had been used as the weapon, Kenny said.
The victim was named by relatives as the suspect's father Loandous Walker.
Hazmat police rush to 'chemical incident' feared to be mass suicide with at least one dead
In the living room police found three more relatives all unconscious on a mattress with no trauma signs on their bodies.
They have been identified as the stabbing victim's wife Valda Walker, 70, and their 31-year-old son and 29-year-old daughter-in-law.
They were taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Centre in critical condition.
The Fire Department determined the levels of carbon dioxide in the apartment were normal.
Three bottles containing a liquid not believed to be water were also found at the scene, The Sun reports. The bottles appeared to have been drunk from, but hazmat officers are not yet sure what the substance was.
Walker was taken into police custody and underwent a mental evaluation at Queens General Hospital.
Tanya Barrett, a niece of the late Loandous Walker, said she spoke to Valda the day before and was told Jamie Walker was "okay".
"This is not like him," she told the New York Times.
"Everybody in the family is asking, 'What happened?'"
Tenants of the building the family lived in say they were devout church-goers known to chant for religious reasons.
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