A domestic dispute in the Bronx ended in a tragedy early Saturday morning, when police shot and killed a 30-year-old man identified as Michael Dotel. The incident occurred around 11 a.m., with police responding to “a family call for help” at the Creston Avenue apartment in the Bedford Park neighborhood. According to reports, Dotel threatened to kill his entire family, terrifying his mother and girlfriend. Dotel’s mother stated that he had become “crazy and tried to kill” her before holding her in a headlock, holding a large carving knife to her throat.

When law enforcement arrived, they had no choice but to use lethal force, given the imminent threat to the victim’s life. Officers instructed Dotel multiple times to drop the weapon, but when the suspect refused to comply, they were forced to discharge their weapons, fatally striking him in the head.

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The NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell lauded the efforts of the officers involved in the incident. “Today was a complete tragedy during this holiday season. Thank God our cops got here quickly and saved this family from further harm,” he said during a press conference. “Their training kicked in, saved the mom’s life, and saved this family’s life.”

While there is a documented history of domestic violence in the apartment, it is unclear what triggered the deadly violence. Furthermore, residents in the Bedford Greenhouse, where the incident occurred, claim that they experience dangerous situations regularly. One anonymous female resident revealed a video showing a recent incident where a neighbor was caught “waving a kitchen knife” dangerously in front of the building. She further claimed that her neighbor previously attempted to set his apartment on fire twice.

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Many of the residents would like to leave the building, which is known to house people with mental health and substance abuse problems. One resident revealed that her daughter stated that she would go to a shelter if the family could not find another apartment, saying “I don’t want to live here no more.” The incident highlights the importance of providing adequate mental health support to people struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues to prevent violent outbursts like this one.

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