A man has been charged with second degree murder after he allegedly stabbed his father to death during a video call with 20 other participants watching.
Suffolk County police in Amityville, New York say the 72-year-old victim, Dwight Powers was on a Zoom call on Thursday around noon, when his son, Thomas Scully-Powers, 32, allegedly stabbed him.
Other participants on the call said they noticed Mr Powers fall off screen and became concerned when a naked man appeared on screen.
A witness who did not want to be identified told ABC7 he saw the naked man ripping bedsheets off a bed.
“He placed the bedsheets on the floor as if he was covering something up. He discovered that people were seeing him through the camera so he covered up the camera,” the witness said.
The other participants on the video call, reportedly part of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, called police but it took them around 15 minutes to figure out the victim’s name and address to be able to direct authorities to his house.
By the time police responded to the scene, they say the son answered the door, slammed it on them and then fled out the window.
He was caught about 1.5 kilometres away and taken to hospital with minor injuries he suffered from jumping out of the window, before being taken to Suffolk County Police Headquarters.
Lieutenant Kevin Beyrer of Suffolk's Homicide Squad told Newsday investigators were looking in to who actually witnessed the attack.
“We don't know what they witnessed. There were a number of people on this conference call. We think there were about 20 people, they just noticed him fall off the screen and then they heard heavy breathing," Mr Beyrer said.
He credited the group for working together to figure out where the victim lived.
“They all did the right thing. They were all concerned about their friend. It was horrible that they had to witness this," Mr Beyrer said.
Mr Beyrer said the motive in the stabbing was under investigation but there was no indication it was related to the pandemic.
An autopsy will determine how many times Mr Powers was stabbed, Mr Beyrer said.
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