Canarsie’s “murder season” began on April 28 with gunshots and the sickening sound of a knife being plunged into a woman’s chest.
Police said that a shooting on East 104th Street and Glenwood Road and one near a school on Williams Street between Stanley Avenue and Glenwood Road, as well as a bloody domestic disturbance on East 81st Street between Glenwood Road and Flatlands Avenue, marked Canarsie’s first three murders of the year.
The first two killings took place within 16 hours of each other. The third took place on May 2.
The slayings also marked a change in seasons for Canarsie detectives who pointed out that April and May always mark a departure from mild crimes to violent ones on neighborhood streets.
“We’re following the same pattern as last year,” the source said. “For the first couple of months, we didn’t have anything, but once the end of April came around, things pick up. From there, we were handling these kind of cases until November.”
The first murder took place just before 3:30 am when Sheriek Ellis, 35, was shot multiple times as he walked down Glenwood Road. Responding paramedics declared him dead at the scene.
On Thursday, detectives and family members walked the streets of Canarsie’s north-eastern edge, distributing CrimeStoppers posters and touring the nearby Breukelen Houses, asking anyone with information to come forward.
Investigators had just opened their investigation into Ellis’s murder when they were told about a vicious attack in a basement apartment on East 82nd Street.
Maritza Jolliffe, 53, was stabbed repeatedly in the chest just after 7:15 pm, cops were told. She died of her injuries at Brookdale Hospital, police said.
Later that evening, investigators arrested Jolliffe’s longtime boyfriend Eustacio Roberts, 54, and charged him with murder.
Roberts, who was apprehended at a friend’s home in East New York, reportedly had a heated argument with Jolliffe, whom he accused of having an affair. The slaying stemmed from that argument, investigators believe.
Gunshots echoed across Canarsie again just after 7 pm on May 2 when a gunman opened fire on a crowd, hitting three people.
One of the victims, an unnamed 23-year-old, was shot in the face and succumbed to his injuries on Linden Boulevard and Rockaway Avenue, police said. Two others, a 21-year-old male and a 19-year-old female were also shot, but survived.
No arrests had been made in the shooting, which took place just paces away from PS 260, police said. The motive for the shooting was still unclear.
So far this year, six shootings have taken place in Canarsie — one more than during the corresponding period last year.
The 69th Precinct rounded out 2009 with seven murders, although the first one didn’t occur until May 10, police said.