On Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, another elder was slain in NYCHA’s Carter G. Woodson senior housing development in Brooklyn. Strangled with a telephone cord Juanita Caballero,78, was murdered in her 393 Powell Street apartment, and found just before 5 p.m.
She is the third senior citizen killed in that NYCHA building since 2015.
Found by her adult son, upon arrival, officers from the 73rd Precinct said the victim was “unconscious and unresponsive laying on the floor in the hallway of her apartment with a cord around her neck. EMS responded and pronounced the female deceased at the scene. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.”
On Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 at 11 a.m., Councilwoman Inez Barron and Assemblymember Charles Barron called an in-person press conference to “demand the immediate installation of security cameras in the halls and elevators in NYCHA’s Carter G. Woodson senior housing development.”
Adding to the outrage and the horror, Councilwoman Barron said, is the fact that, “This is the third homicide of a resident within their apartment in this building within the last few years. The two previous crimes remain unsolved.”
“We have been asking to patrol this building since the first killing,” said activist Danny Goodine. The Brownsville-based co-founder of Men Elevating Leadership, a community-empowerment organization told the Amsterdam News that there is a need for a dedicated community presence walking the hallways of the NYCHA property. “We want to protect our seniors. They know us. There have been three unsolved killings of our elders in this one building, and we think we can add to the security to make the residents feel and be safer.”
Since the June 2014 stabbing death of 6-year-old Prince Joshua “PJ” Avitto by Daniel St. Hubert in an elevator at the Boulevard Houses in East New York, Brooklyn, the Barrons have demanded the installation of cameras in NYCHA buildings.
The housing authority did so in about 49 of their buildings. Three years ago––citing disturbing levels of security at Carter G. Woodson again––the Barrons called on Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYCHA to buy and install interior and exterior security cameras, and improve lighting and secure the doors.
While there are those who have reservations about the cameras and privacy issues, Barron said, “It is imperative that NYC and NYCHA fulfill their responsibility to protect our most vulnerable population, our seniors. The mayor had agreed to getting us the cameras and then we had the COVID pandemic. It has slowed things down, but we still want and need these cameras.”
Neighbors and activists have not contained their anger and disgust at the targeting of the elders. In the same building in 2019, senior Jacolia James died after being attacked. Her daughter Lynda James stood next to Councilwoman Barron, and spoke of the devastating loss, and asked for the safety of these elders to be taken seriously. “The lack of security leaves our seniors as sheep circled by wolves,” she assessed. “It says ‘they don’t matter.’”
In the same building in Nov. 2015, Myrtle McKinney, 82, was found on her kitchen floor––stabbed and with broken ribs.
Once again cops said there were no signs of robbery.
The mayor and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea did not respond to an AmNews request for comment.
“There are no updates at this time and the investigation is ongoing,” Detective Annette Shelton told the Amsterdam News.