He Went To His Daughter's Birthday Party & Killed His Family — Why This Tragic Event Should Be A Wake Up Call

A 9-year-old girl lost her mother, sisters, and father all at once.

Birthday candles enginakyurt / Shutterstock

On Monday, April 5, in Brooklyn, NY, a frightened girl called 911.

She told authorities that her father came over for her birthday party but “he didn’t bring presents.”

When officers arrived on the scene at the Van Dyke Houses in Brownsville, they were met by a tragic murder-suicide — and a little girl hiding inside a closet holding tight to a stuffed unicorn and her sister’s bloody cell phone.


Joseph McCrimon arrived at his daughter's party then killed her mother, his girlfriend, Rasheeda Barzey, 45, and Barzey's daughters Solei Spears, 20, and Chloe Spears, 16, shooting them in the head.

He left their 9-year old daughter by herself in the apartment. McCrimon was found dead on a walkway of a nearby building with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Many sources are citing his past criminal record.

In 1995, McCrimon was convicted of manslaughter. He was released, but incarcerated again in 2000 and released in 2003. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to a five-year sentence for robbing a bank.


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Barzey was in a 20-year relationship with McCrimon. It is reported that she regularly visited him in jail.

They shared one daughter, who called 911 — the other victims, her oldest two children, were not his.


Solei was a junior at Baruch College studying political science, was active in the Black Student Union on her campus, and wanted to make a positive impact in the world.

Relatives reported that their 20-year relationship was “very rocky” but there were no official reports of domestic incidents between them. No other details have been released about the circumstances of their relationship and what possible motive McCrimon had.

The 9-year-old girl was left traumatized.

The NYPD police commissioner Dermot Shea said, “It would tear your heart out to see the little girl from that crime.”

Police on the scene said that the girl was weeping and crying that she didn’t get presents.


Instead, on her special day, she witnessed the sounds of people arguing and then the murder of her family.

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The investigation continues. Authorities know that McCrimon has left in an agitated state to meet his girlfriend and family.

They found two guns on the scene, one in the apartment and one by McCrimon’s body.

The woman who lived below the family said she heard some arguments from the apartment in the past, “including banging and a woman screaming.”

The community members are doing their part to be supportive and using this as a chance to start a conversation about domestic violence and mental health.


Stephanie McGraw, founder of the domestic violence support organization We All Really Matter, urges people the learn from this, and emphasizes the importance for neighbors to pay attention when they witness domestic violence.

“If it’s happening in your building and in your community, and if it’s happening right around the corner, then it’s all of our business,” McGraw said.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse or violence, there are ways to get help. For information and resources, visit the website for the National Domestic Violence Hotline at thehotline.org.


Anyone dealing with domestic abuse can call the hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

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Leeann Reed is a writer who covers news, pop culture, and love, and relationship topics.