A New York couple and their dog were likely targeted for murder in a stunning Manhattan attack. The killing reflects one high-profile murder in a city that has seen a wave of violent crime in recent years.
According to police, Jackie Billini, Levaughn Harvin and their dog were all killed in the Washington Heights neighborhood last week.
Police believe that the homicide was targeted following an “ongoing” dispute with their neighbor. The dog, a pit bull, appeared to be at the center of the disagreement.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) stated that the woman was shot in the head and neck while the man was mortally wounded in the face and shoulder. The entire incident included at least six gunshots.
Both people were rushed to a nearby hospital where they were pronounced dead.
Also murdered was Billini and Harvin’s dog Zeus, who was mortally shot.
This is not the first time that the murdered couple had been near controversy. Billini had worked for the New York State court system and was attacked in April by a man with a hammer at her apartment. Her arm was broken in the attack and required hospital treatment.
The attacker, Lenue Moore, was charged with several crimes, including attempted burglary. Neighbors said that Moore attempted to kick the couple’s dog within the last year and has been living with his mother in the same apartment.
It is not yet clear who committed the murder, but Moore may be a possible suspect, especially considering his recent history with Billini.
The deaths come less than a week after a possible murder-suicide in New York that killed two people and a dog.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 26, 2023
The killing comes as crime in the Big Apple has risen considerably in the last several years. New York is facing rates of auto theft, burglary and murder well above the levels from before the pandemic and the George Floyd riots of 2020. This included a recent burglary of a New York art gallery.