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A 91-year-old Bed-Stuy man died Wednesday afternoon after home invaders entered his apartment and tied him up with rope, according to the NYPD. Waldiman Thompson's 100-year-old wife, Ethlin Thompson, was also tied up but managed to extract herself and call 911.
Ethlin called the police around 3:30 p.m. from the couple's apartment at 160 Decatur Street and "stated that unknown people entered her apartment and tied her and her husband up," Deputy Chief Michael Kemper told reporters on the scene on Wednesday.
An NYPD spokesman told Gothamist on Thursday that it was not immediately clear how many people entered the home. There wasn't initially any sign of forced entry, though police stressed that the investigation is still in its preliminary stages.
It was also not immediately clear if any possessions were taken from the home.
EMS performed CPR on Waldiman before rushing him to Interfaith Hospital where he was declared deceased at 4:20 p.m. ABC reports that investigators believe he died of shock but an NYPD spokesman could not immediately confirm this.
Ethlin sustained rope burns on her legs and was treated on the scene, then removed to a local hospital to be monitored, according to police.
"At this time we are treating this incident as a home invasion robbery/homicide," Chief Kemper said.
Witness Paul Peterson told NBC that he saw Ethlin run out of her apartment just after the apparent invasion.
"She said somebody just tied me and my husband up and robbed us and said please use your phone," he said.
"They've been living here for many years. I was shocked when I got home and heard," neighbor Paula Samaroo told DNAInfo. "They're church people. I would see them walking around going to the laundromat. Why would you go in their house like that and do that? They're nice pleasant people! They don't interfere with nobody. They went out a lot."