New York police officers encountered a grisly scene when they were called to an eighth-floor Brooklyn apartment early Saturday morning.
A 21-year-old woman with a deep laceration to the back of her head first met police before she was sent to the hospital.
In the living room of the apartment, a partially decapitated woman lay on the floor, dead. Her fingers were severed, and she had multiple stab wounds and deep lacerations on her head, arms and body.
In the bedroom, a 4-year-old girl – the daughter of the hospitalized woman – was found unharmed.
And in a trash compactor near the public housing complex, authorities recovered an axe.
A day after police found that gruesome scene, authorities arrested 34-year-old Jerry Brown and charged him with second-degree murder for the killing of Savannah Rivera, 20. He also was charged with attempted second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. Police said the attacks were not random and that the three all knew each other.
Police are still trying to determine a motive behind the incident. NYPD Brooklyn North Deputy Chief Michael Kemper said the department is confident they’re not looking for any other people related to the incident, and there’s a “good possibility” it will be categorized as domestic violence. He declined to speak on the nature of their relationship to one another.
Brown is in the hospital and will not be arraigned on Monday, according to a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office in Brooklyn. A law enforcement source tells CNN he is undergoing psychiatric evaluation.
He has a previous criminal history and began serving a state prison sentence for attempted murder in 2003, according to a New York State Corrections official. He spent time in and out of prison until 2015.
According to the official, during his five years of court-sentenced post-release supervision, he absconded from his parole supervision and was rearrested and returned to prison three times.
A ‘brutal, vicious attack’
Rivera’s body was discovered after the 21-year-old woman fled the apartment and flagged an Uber on the street. The driver, noticing that she was covered in blood, then called police.
The injured woman “suffered lacerations to her chest, arms, torso and a large laceration to her head,” an NYPD spokesman said. Her daughter was taken to a hospital for evaluation and is now with family members.
Authorities recovered an axe from a trash compactor at the public housing complex in the Bushwick neighborhood, and said it is part of the investigation. Kemper said the murder weapon was a sharp object, but it is unclear whether the axe was used in the crime, and Kemper said he couldn’t speak on the role it played.
Kemper called the attack “brutal” and “vicious” during a press conference Saturday.
The two women were either friends or relatives, police said. The 21-year-old mother and her young daughter were living in the apartment and Rivera stayed with them, a police spokesman said.
CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia, Laura Ly, Laura James, Ray Sanchez, Christina Maxouris and Nicole Chavez contributed to this report.