NEW ORLEANS -- A man stabbed a mother to death and hurled her three children off the third floor balcony of a low-income housing project, killing one, and was beaten by neighbors and held for police, authorities said today.
The children's mother was found stabbed to death after the bizarre incident that was witnessed by nearby residents.
Police charged Thomas Brown Jr., 38, with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. No bond had been set.
Police spokesman John Bryson identified the mother as Claudia McGown and the dead child as Leslie McGown, 8. No age was available for Claudia McGown.
The other two children, Brandy, 5, and Brandon, 3, remained in stable condition at Charity Hospital early today.
Bryson said Claudia McGown was found in her apartment at the Fischer housing project shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday. They had discovered the three children lying on the ground moments before.
Brown was treated and released from Charity for minor injuries suffered when a group of neighbors held and beat him while waiting for police to arrive. He was turned over to police for booking, said Bryson.
'When Brown tried to walk away from the scene, onlookers apprehended him and let their emotions get in the way,' Bryson said. 'All indications are he got the beating of his life.'
Bryson, who said Brown also lived in the project, was unsure of the relationship between Brown and McGown.
Neighbor Valinda Roberts, 25, saw the children tossed one by one over the balcony.
'I saw him throw the little boy first,' she said. 'I thought it was a big baby doll. But then I saw what it was.
'I went to it, but people said, 'Don't pick it up.' I was getting ready to turn around and he threw the second child, a little girl about 5 years old. She fell on top of me. She hit me from behind. I fell down and she fell over me. Then he threw the third one.
'He was walking away and he hollered, 'I killed all of them.''