Man arrested on murder charges in ‘vicious,’ fatal ax attack that left woman nearly decapitated

NEW YORK— Authorities arrested a man on murder and attempted murder charges in connection with the death of a woman found nearly decapitated in a New York City apartment and the wounding of another woman who was hospitalized in critical condition, police said Sunday.

Jerry Brown, 34, of Brooklyn, was taken into custody Saturday, April 20, hours after emergency responders went to a Brooklyn building in response to a 911 call from a driver who came across the surviving woman, according to the New York Police Department.

Police found the dead woman, identified as Savannah Rivera, 20, inside the Flushing Avenue apartment, part of Bushwick Houses, about 1:30 a.m. Saturday. A 4-year-old daughter of the wounded woman was in another room, but was unharmed.

Rivera, who did not live in the apartment, had multiple stab wounds and deep cuts to her head and body. The surviving woman was also cut. Authorities said they recovered an ax from the crime scene.

Deputy Chief Michael Kemper said authorities believe Brown knew both victims.

He called the attack "brutal" and "vicious."

"Both victims suffered multiple deep, deep lacerations," he said.

WPIX reported speaking with the suspect after reaching out to him via Facebook, and that he said he had a history of mental illness.

Brown was at a hospital in police custody. He had not yet been arraigned, and there was no information on any attorney for him.

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