A tense stand-off on Long Island took a tragic turn on Tuesday night when a murder suspect wounded a 3-year-old girl and then fatally shot himself during a confrontation with the police. As the situation unfolded, the suspect, identified as Gary Jones, opened fire at the officers, narrowly missing them but inadvertently hitting the young girl in a neighboring apartment.
Late on Tuesday evening, Suffolk County Police Homicide detectives arrived at the residence on Ticonderoga Court in Ridge to investigate a murder that had occurred earlier in the year. During their inquiry, they spoke with a friend of the suspect. The friend informed police that Gary Jones was inside the house. Acting on this information, the detectives instructed the friend and the children present to vacate the premises.
As the friend and the children exited the house, Jones emerged from a room armed with a handgun and began firing at the detectives. Fortunately, the officers managed to retreat without sustaining any injuries. However, one of the bullets pierced a wall and struck 3-year-old Lovely Toney, who was standing on a couch in the adjacent apartment. The child’s father, James Toney, discovered his daughter had been shot when he noticed blood and promptly rushed her to safety.
The bullet first tore through the back of the couch before hitting Lovely and then ricocheted into another wall, eventually coming to rest in a closet. Following the incident, the toddler was immediately transported to a local hospital, and she underwent surgery. Thankfully, her condition is now stable, according to the authorities.
In response to the escalating situation, law enforcement officers surrounded the house and called for hostage negotiators and the Emergency Services Unit. To assess the situation safely, the Emergency Services officers deployed a robot into the residence. However, they discovered Jones dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officers did not fire their weapons at any point during the stand-off.
The investigation into the initial murder and the subsequent events is ongoing.
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