Cousin charged in stabbing death of NY woman and 4 children

A New York Police Department vehicle stands near the scene of a stabbing rampage in Brooklyn that left five dead, including four children. Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

NEW YORK — Authorities have arrested and charged a man with five counts of murder after a mother and her four young children were found stabbed to death in a bloody rampage in Brooklyn late Saturday night.

Ming Don Chen, 25, a cousin of the slain children’s father, implicated himself in the horrific murders, officials told NBC New York

The victims “were cut and butchered with a kitchen knife,” NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks told the station. He is charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

Two girls, Amy Zhuo, 7, and Linda Zhuo, 9, as well as the youngest child, William Zhuo, 1, were pronounced dead at the scene when officials arrived just before 11 p.m. ET, New York City police said in a statement released on Sunday. Paramedics rushed 37-year-old Qiao Zhen Li and 5-year-old Kevin Zhuo to local hospitals but the two died, police added.

"Officers observed a total of five persons, unconscious and unresponsive, all with stab wounds about the upper portions of their bodies," according to a statement released by police early on Sunday.

Banks told NBC New York it was “just a scene you’ll never forget.”

Li’s husband returned to his residence after authorities arrived, and he is not considered a suspect in the killings, police told Reuters.

Law enforcement sources told the station that Chen had been staying with the family for about a week since moving from Chicago. He came to the U.S. from China in approximately 2004, police told NBC New York.

He was reportedly found inside the home with his bare feet covered in blood and a machete and a pair of scissors nearby.

A neighbor told the newspaper that she knew the children.

“I always see (the kids) running around here,” May Chan said, according to the newspaper. “They run around by my garage playing. They run up and down screaming. They’re little kids ... that’s so heartbreaking. Innocent kids, my God.”

Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood, where the gruesome murders took place, is a working-class area that is home to many Chinese and Hispanic immigrants. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.