UPDATE: Manhunt Underway for Suspects; Video May Hold Key
A 99-year-old woman managed to escape and call 911 after being tied up by violent home invaders, but police said her 91-year-old husband died after the men broke into their Brooklyn home.
Waldiman and Ethlin Brumley Thompson were at their ground-floor apartment in Bedford Stuyvesant Wednesday afternoon when at least two masked, armed men stormed in, tied them up and put pillow cases over their heads, according to sources.
Then, authorities said, they ransacked the home -- but it’s not clear if anything was taken from the home.
The 99-year-old Ethlin Brumley Thompson was able to escape while the burglars tossed her home, and got away to call 911. When officers arrived, the woman met them and said her husband was still in the home.
"The officers entered her apartment and found her 91-year-old husband tied up and lying on the floor," NYPD Deputy Chief Michael Kemper said at a press conference. "He was unresponsive."
Although the officers performed CPR, Waldiman Thompson was pronounced dead after he arrived at Interfaith Medical Center. Sources told News 4 the burglars may have beaten him, but the nature of his deadly injuries wasn’t clear.
The Ethlin Brumley Thompson was taken to the same hospital for injuries to her legs and for observation.
A witness told NBC 4 New York that she frantically came running out of the home pleading for help.
“She came running out but she never ran to me like this," Paul Peterson of Bed-Stuy said. "She said somebody just tied me and my husband up and robbed us and said please use your phone.”
The couple’s neice, Karlene Grose, said she was watching the news and saw her aunt and uncle’s home on the screen and realized her uncle had been killed by the burglars.
“When I saw that, ‘Oh my God,’” she said. “It breaks me heart to see my uncle died, he was like a father to me, he grew me up in Jamaica.”
Grose said the Thompsons had been married for decades, and now Ethlin Brumley will be without her partner.
“To see my uncle go like this, someone has to be punished,” Grose said.
Investigators descended on Decatur Street as they searched for the suspects Wednesday evening. Officers were going door-to-door asking neighbors if they saw anything, and crime scene tape surrounded the brownstone as detectives scoured for clues, including surveillance video.
Anyone with information about the home invasion should call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.