A Brooklyn man has been charged with murder after police say he stabbed his mother to death with a samurai sword in a Prospect Heights house Tuesday morning.
Michael Brea, 31, an aspiring actor, also underwent a psychiatric evaluation at Kings County Hospital.
When police entered the apartment on Park Place in Prospect Heights early Tuesday morning, they found Yannick Brea, 55, dead with multiple stab wounds.
Neighbors say they heard screaming inside the apartment and could later hear reciting what they believe were Bible passages.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Michael Brea was sitting in a chair, holding a Bible and the sword.
"I heard a shriek, someone yelling, and after that probably like a 'Help me.' And probably about five minutes after that the sound went away," said upstairs neighbor Vernal Bent, who called 911. "He kept repeating words like 'Moses,' 'Jerusalem,' 'the grand architect of the universe,'" said upstairs neighbor."
Neighbors were stunned by the incident.
"I couldn't see this coming. I couldn't see this coming at all," said neighbor Gregory Clare. "They had a close relationship. Him and his mother got along very well."
"I don't think Michael is capable of doing this, but who knows. Buttons get pushed and people snap," said Clinton Clare, a friend of the suspect.
Neighbors said police arrived at the building quickly, but they questioned how long it took authority to actually enter the apartment, despite allegedly getting permission from the landlords to break the door down.
"It would have made a big difference. I think Miss Brea would still be here," said Gregory Clare.
A New York City Police Department spokesperson could not confirm the amount of time it took for officers to enter the apartment, but Kelly said the officers acted properly.
"When they're in a barricade situation, responding patrol officers, if possible, wait for emergency service officers to come," said the commissioner.
Hours later, Michael Brea's twin brother arrived at the scene and wept with friends and family, as neighbors continued to wonder what could have caused the unexpected act.