- 18 декабря 2011, 13:20
Man dressed as exterminator sets woman on fire in lift at New York apartment block
A woman has been burned alive in the lift of her New York apartment building after a man ambushed her, sprayed her with liquid and set her on fire with a Molotov cocktail, police have said.
The unidentified man, dressed as an exterminator, was waiting for the woman when the lift doors opened to her floor of the Prospect Heights building in Brooklyn. The man sprayed her with an accelerant and set her on fire, New York City police said.
No arrests had been made as of Saturday night and police were still searching for the suspect.
The brutal attack, which happened shortly after 4pm, lasted about a minute and was recorded by two video cameras, including one inside the small lift.
A police spokesman said the video showed the lift doors opening to the fifth floor where the woman's apartment was located and the assailant stepping in and spraying the woman.
The woman, who was aged in her 60s and had grocery bags in her arms, turned about 180 degrees and then crouched in an attempt to protect herself, he said. But the man sprayed her directly in the face and continued to spray her "sort of methodically" over her head and parts of her body as the bags draped off her arms. She turned around and retreated to the back of the lift.
At some point the suspect then pulled out a BBQ-style lighter, used it to ignite a rag in a bottle and then waited for a few seconds before using the flames to set her on fire, causing smoke to fill the lift.
The man backed out as the woman fell to the floor of the lift and seemed to pause before tossing the bottle inside the lift on to the woman.
Police would not comment on the motive in the killing, but said the suspect knew his victim. Police did not identify the woman pending notification of relatives.
Investigators believe the suspect fled down the stairs of the building.
Police released still images of the man Saturday night, showing him in a black jacket, wearing what appear to be surgical gloves and with a white dust mask perched atop his head like a pair of sunglasses. He is holding what appears to be a canister with a nozzle and spraying as he steps into the lift.
Neighbours reported a fire in the building, unaware that the woman was burning alive in the life.