Westchester DA concerned following five domestic violence deaths during COVID-19

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WHITE PLAINS – In the wake of two murder-suicides that claimed five lives in Westchester County this month, District Attorney Antony Scarpino, Jr. expressed concern about a possible increase in domestic violence as people are confined to their homes without the normal routines of going to work or school.

That is compounded by “the added burden of a damaging financial downturn, business interruption and job losses,” he said.

Scarpino said while there has not been a higher number of domestic violence reports or arrests in the county, “we are heartbroken over five deaths in Westchester families in the last two weeks.”

Westchester County DA Anthony Scarpino Jr.

Both incidents have been characterized as murder-suicides, he said. The first was in Mount Vernon on Easter Sunday, April 5. A man shot his wife and her daughter, then turned the gun on himself in their home, the DA said. On Thursday, another murder-suicide was reported, in North Salem, where he said it appears a husband shot and killed his wife and then himself. Both incidents are under investigation by police. “Two such incidents ae two too many,” Scarpino said.

“While none of us know what precipitated these five horrendous deaths, we urge everyone to be aware of friends and family members who may be under extreme stress at this time,” he said. “Check in by phone or other online means. “Are your calls going unanswered? Has their social media presence changed? If you have concerns for someone’s safety, call 911, your local police or our Special Prosecutions Division at 914-995-3000.”

Every month across the country, an average of 52 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner, Scarpino said. “If you fear someone has access to weapons and has threatened to use them, contact our Red Flag Extreme Risk Protection Order Response Unit for help with a court order to remove weapons from a loved one in crisis (914-995-3339). Help us prevent more violence and keep Westchester safe,” he said.