David Sherrod, 44, shot spouse Alma Cox and her beloved grandson, Jaquan Cox, in the head. Then he took the .357 caliber revolver and blew himself away inside the Bedford-Stuyvesant home, police said.
Detectives believe the bodies had been decomposing in the hot, stuffy apartment since Saturday night. Neighbors heard gunshots, but didn’t call police.
Cox, 51, was hosting the child at her apartment for the weekend before planning to visit family in the South.
Jaquan lived in Poughkeepsie with his father, Johnny Cox, who struggled Tuesday to come to grips with the loss of his son and his mother.
“My mother was a very lovable person, very helpful, very generous,” Johnny Cox told the Daily News. “My son was a lovable person, very friendly, very playful. They both enjoyed life, they both enjoyed each other. It’s sad what happened to them but at least they’re together.”
Friends said Sherrod had been abusive to Alma Cox and that she had been threatening to leave him.
“Alma was a victim of abuse,” said one of Cox’s co-workers. “She told us all he was abusing her. She wanted to leave, and that’s why we think he snapped.”
Sherrod was charged with assault after police responded to an Aug. 20, 2010, domestic disturbance report. Neighbors recounted loud arguments between the couple.
“I could hear them (arguing),” said Otis Hampton, 53, who lived directly upstairs. “But there was nothing to indicate this. This is shocking.”
Sherrod, who acknowledged during a parole hearing that he smoked crack as a teen, was last released from prison in 2009. He had been in and out of prison on drug and armed robbery convictions.
The suicidal killer and Cox were “the best couple in the world,” Sherrod’s son said through sobs Tuesday outside the apartment.
Joe Marino for New York Daily News
The gruesome scene in Bedford-Stuyvesant where three people were found dead Tuesday. Police said David Sherrod fatally shot his spouse Alma Cox and her grandson Jaquan Cox, 7, before turning the gun on himself.
Neighbor Barbara Peoples likely heard the fatal shots Saturday night.
“I heard pow, pow, pow,” said Peoples, who lives in the apartment next door. “I said, ‘What the hell was that?’ My grandson said those were firecrackers. I said, ‘Them was no firecrackers.’ ”
The death stench was soon seeping from the apartment as the July temperatures soared, and police were finally called on Monday.
The couple worked at the Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corp., a nonprofit group that provides affordable rental housing to low-income residents.
Alma Cox worked there for 18 years, handling a variety of duties from administrative work to coordinating community events.
“She showed great leadership in her work,” said her boss, Jeff Dunston. “It’s a terrible loss . . . She loved her grandchildren very much.”