HAMILTON HEIGHTS — The 62-year-old woman allegedly beaten to death by her emotionally disturbed grandson was remembered Thursday as the neighborhood matriarch who made "made everyone smile," her family recalled.
Beverly Holmes, who police said was brutally bludgeoned with an elephant statue by her 27-year-old grandson, Dominick Anderson, had a vibrant presence in the community around her St. Nicholas Avenue home, relatives said.
"She laughed, made everybody smile. She was lovely," said one of Anderson's sisters, Naisha Anderson, 23, who was not home at the time of the incident. "She was interested in fashion and crossword puzzles."
Neighbors said Holmes, who lived in the building her entire life, was always ready to cheerfully lend a helpful hand.
''My daughter's in a wheelchair and [Holmes] asked if she could help her downstairs,'' said downstairs neighbor Vangie Raines, 47. ''She was the neighborhood's family. Everybody spoke to her.''
Holmes was in her sixth-floor Wednesday morning when Dominick Anderson got into a fight with his sister. When Holmes tried to break up the fight, Anderson flew into a rage and attacked her with the elephant statue, according to the NYPD.
Dominick Anderson attacked one of his sisters, too, leaving her badly injured, his mother said.
"Blood was dripping down her face," Mary Anderson said.
Dominick Anderson continued attacking his family until a team of cops arrived to intervene, police said.
That's when Anderson unleashed his fury on the officers, his relatives and police said. Six cops were injured, including one whom Anderson allegedly struck in the head with the elephant statue.
By the time cops detained Anderson, Holmes was critically injured and had to be rushed to Harlem Hospital Center, authorities said.
She died a short time later.
"It's a family tragedy," Mary Anderson said.
Cops formally arrested Anderson Wednesday evening and charged him with murder, assault, criminal possession of weapon and resisting arrest, police said.
The officer with the head injury was taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where he was stable, police said Thursday. Five other officers were also taken to hospitals to be treated for minor scrapes and bruises.
Anderson and his sister were also taken to Harlem Hospital Center. Both were in stable condition.
Mary Anderson said that Wednesday's attack was shocking, but not unexpected.
"My son's got psychiatric problems," she said, adding that he recently stopped taking medication to treat his psychiatric issues because he believed it hindered his ability to care for his 5-year-old daughter.
The night before the alleged attack Dominick Anderson seemed off, his mom said.
"He was just not his normal self," Mary Anderson said.
Naisha Anderson said her brother had a history of similar incidents, including one in 2010 that she said also drew a police response.
"He was paranoid and started walking the ledge of the building," his sister claimed.
Mary Anderson said her son may have lashed out because he believed Holmes was practicing voodoo on him. Holmes was praying over a picture of her grandson and a doll in a closet in an effort to heal him, Mary Anderson said. When Dominick found the doll, he became convinced that she was casting a curse, she said.
Naisha Anderson said that Wednesday's mayhem erased whatever good will she had for her brother.
''I have no sympathy or remorse for him," she said. "He's gonna get what he deserves.''