A man goes on a killing spree and kills 4 people. Police send in a robot to negotiate with him.
A shooting rampage by a deranged man that left his father and three other men dead at his Queens home may have been sparked by the mans belief that he was dying of a blood disease, a high-ranking New York City police detective said yesterday.
Inspector James G. Courtney, acting chief of Queens detectives, said the man, Andrew Brooks Jr., who killed himself on Monday in a Nassau County house where he had barricaded himself after the murders, had told people in his Queens neighborhood that he feared he was dying. When an ambulance crew responded to his house in Little Neck, Queens, early last week to treat him for a bleeding rectum, he refused medical aid, Inspector Courtney said. Searching for Mother
"We feel that there is the possibility that whatever illness he did suffer from apparently triggered in his mind the events that transpired," the inspector said.
Inspector Courtneys statements came as the police continued their search for Mr. Brookss 75-year-old mother, Marion, who has not been seen by neighbors since Thursday. The search has been expanded beyond the immediate vicinity of the house at 53-42 254th Street, where Mr. Brooks lived with his parents, to a Queens park about two miles away that he was known to frequent.
Detectives issued an appeal yesterday for help from the public in finding Mrs. Brooks, who Inspector Courtney said may be dead. Since early Sunday, when the police first learned of the murders and discovered the bodies of the victims at the Brooks house, detectives have searched the house and the grounds twice for the 5-foot 5-inch, 180-pound woman with short white hair, he said. Bloodhounds Used
The police also searched a neighboring house, whose owners were on vacation and where Mr. Brooks had been house-sitting. Bloodhounds, who were able to trace Mr. Brooks, 47, from the crime scene to a street about four blocks away in Great Neck in Nassau County, where he had parked his mothers car, could find no trace of her.
The police said Mr. Brooks, who frightened many of his neighbors, began the killings late Saturday night or early Sunday and then drove the family car about four blocks and broke into a home at 44 Bates Road on the border of Queens and Long Island. There, in Lake Success, L.I., he took an elderly couple hostage. They later got away unharmed.
The body of his father, Andrew T. Brooks Sr., 75, a retired teacher, was found in a backyard toolshed at his house with that of a neighbor, Brian Ducker, 30. The other victims, also neighborhood acquaintances, were shot in various rooms of the Brooks house. Two men died and two were wounded.
Mr. Brooks barricaded himself in the house on Bates Road for about 30 hours and, despite telling police negotiators he would surrender, shot himself in the head with a .22-caliber rifle about 9 A.M. on Monday. An Ambulance Call
On Monday a week earlier, an ambulance from Flushing Hospital responded to the Brooks household at 7:40 A.M., according to the citys Emergency Medical Service.
A hospital official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said yesterday that Andrew Brooks Jr. was bleeding from the gums and had a discolored stool but refused to go to the hospital. The official said Mr. Brooks said he had been taking antibiotics, but the official declined to say what the antibiotics were and if they produced the symptom.
There were no indications of emotional disturbance, the official said, but he added that the ambulance crew was on "a nonpsychiatric visit" and not looking for signs of emotional distress. A Hostile Relationship
Inspector Courtney said he did not believe that Mr. Brooks had a fatal disease. He added that although investigators theorized that Mr. Brookss fears about being mortally ill prompted the killing spree, they did not know how he chose his victims.
"Over the years he had substantially a hostile relationship with his father, and often his mother acted as an intermediary in an attempt to protect him," the inspector said.
Inspector Courtney said a "cadaver dog," trained to find buried bodies, was being brought from upstate New York to continue the search for Mrs. Brooks. Neighbors, relatives and acquaintances were being interviewed to determine places where Mr. Brooks spent his time.
Info From: NYTIMES.COM