Watch CBS News

Courtney Gordon's relatives say his mental health was declining for months before deadly stabbing rampage in Queens

Stabbing suspect's relatives say mental health was declining months before deadly rampage
Stabbing suspect's relatives say mental health was declining months before deadly rampage 02:30

NEW YORK -- As police probe what caused 38-year-old Courtney Gordon to allegedly stab several of his family members to death in Queens, relatives on his mother's side say signs of his mental health issues were building for months. 

"He just started to decline, just the disrespect and the loud voice and superiority. He needed to have this power over people where it was hard for us to talk to him, tell him anything," said Sean McCoy, Gordon's cousin. 

McCoy said Gordon wasn't always like that. His cousin was once happily married with three kids and a stable job, but his behavior recently took a 180-degree turn, he said. 

Lillian McCoy, Gordon's aunt, let her nephew stay at her home in the Bronx earlier this year. He constantly blasted loud music referencing killings and stabbings, and grew increasingly disruptive, she said. 

"He became very controlling, very disrespectful, and things have to be his way. And if not his way, he would act like, you must be scared of him," she said. 

READ MOREFamily of suspect in Queens stabbings say he suffered from mental health issues

Relatives said they reached out to a social justice nonprofit for help, but Gordon refused treatment.

Gordon's aunt eventually kicked him out and he bounced from shelter to shelter until family on his father's side took him in. 

"He flipped it on them and told them that they're the problem and that he doesn't have any issues and that everything's OK," said Gordon's cousin. 

NYPD trying to figure out why Bronx man went on deadly stabbing rampage 02:11

Sunday, Gordon murdered four family members, ranging in age from 11 to 44, and critically injured a fifth at their home on Beach 22nd Street in Far Rockaway, according to police. 

The victims were identified late Monday night as 11-year-old Mikayla James, 12-year-old Rojaun Davis, 44-year-old Suzette Taylor-Davis and 34-year-old Rickmon Davis.

Gordon went on to slash two responding officers, who then shot and killed him, police said. The officers were both treated and released from the hospital. 

Gordon's mother and sister told CBS New York he suffered from depression. NYPD said he was arrested in the past for a domestic violence dispute.  

Gordon's aunt believes she could have easily been a target. 

"Don't take it lightly, because you don't know what they are thinking inside. Even when you are trying to reach them in love, they are trying to reach you in hate," she said. 

Sources said the surviving 61-year-old victim was conscious and talking. Police are hoping to speak with her to learn about a possible motive for the attack. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.