Three newborn babies were in critical condition after being stabbed along with two adults at a New York City day care center run out of a house Friday morning, police said.
A 52-year-old woman, who works at the Flushing, Queens, day care center, was in custody at a nearby hospital, according the the New York Police Department. Authorities found her unconscious in the basement of the house with a self-inflicted wound to her wrist after the attack, which happened before 4 a.m., police said. The suspect later regained consciousness, said NYPD Assistant Chief Juanita Holmes.
A meat cleaver and a butcher knife were recovered at the scene, police told NBC News.
The three girls stabbed are a 3-day-old, a 20-day-old and a 1-month old. Two were stabbed in their stomachs, and the 20-day-old was stabbed in her ear, lip and chin, according to the New York Police Department. “There was one child more seriously injured than the other two,” but all the babies were in critical but stable condition Friday morning, Holmes said.
A female day care worker was also stabbed, as well as a 31-year-old man. The worker was stabbed eight times, and was in surgery Friday morning. The man, who was stabbed in the leg, is believed to be the father of one of the children at the center, but it wasn’t clear if any of the wounded infants belonged to him.
The day care was operating out of multi-family house under the name Mei Xin Care Inc., according to NBC New York. Mei Xin Care is licensed as a business, according to New York Department of State documents.
The business was not licensed to operate as a day care at that address, New York’s Office of Children and Family Services said in a statement.
“OCFS is saddened by this horrific situation and investigating it as a possible illegal operation,” the statement said, adding that state-regulated child care facilities are prohibited from caring for babies less that six weeks of age without extenuating circumstances and OCFS approval.
The only reported incident the city has on record for the address is a noise complaint about children screaming in 2011, police said.
Nine babies were in the house at the time of the attack. A motive has not yet been determined.