As Glendale residents sat down for dinner Sunday night, the sounds of helicopters, sirens and other law enforcement vehicles filled the air in their dining rooms and kitchens.
At 6:40 p.m., police received a call of a domestic dispute on 68th Street between 70th and Central avenues. Upon arrival, they found 31-year-old Mark Vasquez, who was holed up in his second-floor apartment with a loaded gun, according to police.
Published reports said that the gunman’s wife called the police after he became enraged in an argument.
When officers arrived at the home, Vasquez fired three times through his closed front door. Cops said no one was injured and officers did not fire back.
The ordeal ended at 10:10 p.m., when police entered his apartment and found him dead in the bathtub with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.
Confusion soon spread around the area, as neighbors heard gunshots and saw law enforcement agents camped out in front of a house for 3 1/2 hours. Recent crimes in the Maspeth and Glendale area leave residents wondering if a crime spike is in the midst.
But Gary Giordano, district manager for Community Board 5, said “this is certainly not normal for Glendale and hardly normal for virtually any neighborhood,” referring to the incident Sunday night.
“I think that too high a percentage of crime involves husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends,” he said. “Generally speaking from my experience, there are issues of the male wanting control and issues regarding pride.”
Therefore, Giordano said, the incident does not appear to correlate with a local crime spike.
According to Captain Michael Cody from the 104th Precinct, felony assaults in the area were down 5 percent in February, and most that were reported pertained to a domestic violence issue.
“Fortunately, homicides and suicides are, from what I know, low in our community,” Giordano said.