Suspect kills NYC roommate, trips on steps while fleeing and fatally shoots self in ‘accidental suicide’

NEW YORK — A Bronx man killed his roommate around midday Tuesday and then committed “accidental suicide” when he fled down this apartment building stairwell, tripped and shot himself, police sources and relatives said.

A dispute between the two men boiled over at 12:30 p.m. in the three-bedroom apartment they shared on Rev. James A. Polite Ave. near East 163rd Street in Longwood, according to police.

A 28-year-old man fatally shot his roommate, 32, in the head and grazed another man, 56, in the cheek on the fifth floor of the apartment building.

The gunman fled the scene, taking the stairs faster than his feet could keep up with him, sources said. When the suspect got to the third floor, his baggy trousers tripped him up and, according to a detective on the case, he fell with his finger still on the trigger, discharging the weapon a final time and blasting himself with a fatal bullet to the neck.

“It was a murder/accidental suicide,” a police source said. “He shoots the guy, runs down the stairs and shoots himself in the head.”

A woman who shares the apartment with the two men confirmed that the shooter and the victim lived together in the apartment.

“My landlord called me and told me that someone had been shot,” she said. “(My roommate) killed somebody. It happened in my apartment. It could have been me.”

The woman, who declined to give her name, said that the suspect has a history of violent and erratic behavior.

“(He’s) always doing something stupid,” she said. “He took a kitchen knife and told me to give him all my money.”

The woman said her roommate struggles with mental health issues and addiction.

“(He’s) crazy. He’s always getting into something in the street.”

A resident of the building who declined to give her name said she heard two gunshots.

“I heard two big booms,” the 37-year-old woman said. “I wasn’t thinking nothing of it. ... Firecrackers go off here all the time.”

The neighbor said that shootings in the neighborhood were not uncommon, but gun violence continues to shake the community.

“It still is surprising because we live over here,” she said. “Last time there was a shooting over here it was early in the morning when kids was getting on the f---ing school bus. Seven in the morning. Shots fired. That’s what makes it scary. There be a lot of shootings in the daytime over here.”

No arrests have been made.

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