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Man on Zoom call with 20 others is killed by his son, police say

  • NEW YORK TIMES
                                Police officers stood outside the scene of a fatal stabbing in Amityville, N.Y., today.

    NEW YORK TIMES

    Police officers stood outside the scene of a fatal stabbing in Amityville, N.Y., today.

A 32-year-old Long Island man was arrested and charged with murder today after the man fatally stabbed his father while he was on a Zoom video chat with about 20 people, authorities said.

The father, Dwight Powers, 72, had been participating in the Zoom call at his home in Amityville, a village in the town of Babylon about 40 miles east of Manhattan, just after noon today when he was attacked by his son, Thomas Scully-Powers, the Suffolk County Police Department said in a statement.

People on the call reported seeing Powers in the meeting with them and then suddenly realizing that he was no longer on screen, a spokesman for the Suffolk County police said. Some participants in the meeting may have witnessed part of the attack, the spokesman said, adding that the police had been given a description of the son by people who were on the Zoom call.

The spokesman declined to comment on the type of meeting that was being held.

Newsday reported that there had been about 20 other people on the video call, which the police confirmed later tonight.

“They just noticed him fall off the screen and then they heard heavy breathing,” Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer of the Suffolk County police homicide squad told Newsday. “It was horrible that they had to witness this.”

Several participants in the conference called 911, and the police found and arrested Scully-Powers in less than an hour, authorities said. The police spokesman said it had taken officers longer to locate Scully-Powers because people in the meeting did not know where Powers lived.

Beyrer told Newsday that the motive in the stabbing was still being investigated but that there was no indication that it was related to the coronavirus pandemic. It was not clear how many times Powers had been stabbed by his son, he added.

Scully-Powers was injured when he jumped out a second-story window of the home where he and his father both lived and was transported to a hospital to recover, police said. Online records indicate that the home is an apartment in a senior living community.

As of late today, the area surrounding the complex was blocked off to traffic by police vehicles. Caution tape separated the street from nearby parking lots.

Police said Scully-Powers had been charged with second-degree murder and would be arraigned after being discharged from the hospital.

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