A 27-year-old man fatally stabbed a Staten Island grandmother as she walked home Monday afternoon and then cradled the dying woman's body until paramedics arrived, authorities said.
Geetha Howie, 63, was two blocks away from her Bement Avenue home in West Brighton when a stranger approached her and began stabbing her in the face and torso, according to the NYPD.
The suspect, 27-year-old Dantey Moore, of Staten Island, also slashed a neighbor who rushed outside to help, police said.
Moore then cradled Howie until paramedics arrived, police said. She was taken to an area hospital, where she died. According to local reports, Howie was stabbed 15 times.
The neighbor, 56-year-old Mark Long, suffered a cut to his arm when he tried to intervene. He is expected to be OK.
Howie and Moore did not appear to know each other and investigators believe the attack may have been random.
Moore is charged with murder, four counts of assault and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, authorities said. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney.
Long's wife told News 4 Tuesday that her husband tried to talk to the suspect and calm him when he rushed to help Howie. She says Howie's son-in-law thanked Long for intervening and informed them of Howie's passing.
A retired NYPD detective who lives next door to Howie told News 4 that Moore has been arrested several times and is known to local police. The detective, who asked to remain anonymous because he is testifying in a criminal case from his time at the NYPD, said Moore used drugs and would break into cars in search of money.
Howie was "a lovely woman" who had children and a grandchild, the retired detective said.