An off-duty narcotics detective was fatally stabbed yesterday morning
he tried to break up an argument between his girlfriend and her former
boyfriend, the authorities said.
Police officials declined to release the name of the detective, saying
that to do so would compromise the undercover investigation on which he
They said the confrontation began shortly before 8:20 a.m., when Luis
Alberto Gomez Gonzalez, a 26-year-old auto mechanic, knocked on the door
a fifth-floor apartment at 1355 Grand Concourse, where his former girlfriend
lives with their 6-year-old daughter.
The child was not at home when her mother answered the door, the police
said. The woman and Mr. Gonzalez began arguing, they said, and the
detective, who had returned to the apartment with his girlfriend a few hours
earlier, went to the door to intervene. Mr. Gonzalez stabbed him once in
chest with a knife, the police said.
The detective stumbled back into the apartment and collapsed while trying
to get his off-duty service revolver, a senior police official said. Mr.
Gonzalez fled, taking the knife with him, the authorities said.
Miriam Soto, 50, who lives across the hall from the detective's
girlfriend, said she heard the woman scream early yesterday.
"I opened the door and said, `What happened?' " Ms. Soto said. "She said
her boyfriend was stabbed. She was screaming hysterically."
She added, "She didn't say much, just, `help me, help me, call the
The detective was taken to Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center,
where the authorities said he was pronounced dead at 9:15 a.m.
At a news conference at the hospital, Police Commissioner Raymond W.
Kelly described the detective, 34, as a well-respected officer with an
"There is significant representation here from the unit that he works
and there's an awful lot of very upset people as a result of this incident,"
Mr. Kelly said.
Yesterday afternoon, police officers who knew the detective gathered
outside the hospital, some of them exchanging tight hugs and handshakes,
quiet words of comfort.
Around 8:30 last night, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg paid a condolence
to relatives of the detective at another apartment building in the Bronx.
The mayor stayed for about 15 minutes and made no public statement.
Police officials described a wide-ranging search for Mr. Gonzalez, who
they said was thought to live in Jersey City. In the Bronx, they distributed
a flier with Mr. Gonzalez's picture and a physical description.
Mr. Gonzalez's relationship with his girlfriend soured several months
ago, the police said. The woman filed a domestic incident report this year,
the police said, claiming that Mr. Gonzalez had broken her cellular phone
during an argument. Later, they said, she dropped the charges.
Mr. Gonzalez does not have a criminal record, the authorities said.
The detective, who police officials said had been separated from his
since 1995, began dating Mr. Gonzalez's former girlfriend about five months
Yesterday, the detective's estranged wife appeared grief-stricken. "He
really wanted to be a cop," she said. "He always dreamed to be that. He
a very special man."
At the apartment where the stabbing occurred, fingerprint-dusting powder
stained the door and wall, and neighbors, some of them dressed up for
Easter, explained the cluster of police officers downstairs to those who
not yet heard the news.
One neighbor, Julio Miranda, 31, said that when he saw police officers
gathered outside the apartment yesterday morning, he thought they were there
for an Easter parade or to protect a special visitor to a nearby church.
"I wouldn't have thought it would have been something like this," he
said. "I thought the cops were there because it's Easter Sunday."