BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Police are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the men suspected in the home invasion that killed a 91-year-old man and widowed his 100-year-old wife.
The reward for identifying the men suspected of killing Waldiman Thompson, 91, and injuring his wife, Ethlin Thompson, 100, during the Oct. 11 robbery of their Decatur Avenue home came as the grieving family members planned funeral rites for Thompson, who will be buried Friday.
A wake is planned for Thompson 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday at Hanson Place Church, the Seventh Day Adventist church where the devoutly religious couple worshiped.
A service will be held there at 10 a.m. on Friday.
The home invasion took place just after 3:30 p.m. Oct. 11, when two men followed Ethlin Thompson into the couple’s ground-floor apartment, tied them up and stole an unknown amount of cash, according to police.
Thompson went into cardiac arrest at the scene, but his wife managed to untie herself and go outside for help, witnesses said.
The brazen home invasion left neighbors reeling, as they struggled to understand who would harm a couple known in the neighborhood for hanging out on their front patio listening to the radio, feeding pet parakeets and greeting everyone who walked by.
“You don’t know how hard I’m praying that they catch those men,” said Virginia Thorne, a resident of MacDonough Street who passes the house on her way to and from the bus. “It burns my heart what happened.”
At a prayer vigil held on the block Friday, anti-violence activists called for the suspects to be caught.
“I have lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant for 48 years and I have never seen such a heinous act,” said Rev. Taharka Robinson, an organizer of the rally. “It’s disgraceful, and it will not be accepted.”
Police have released few details about the robbery and any potential suspects.
Initially, investigators were said to be interviewing a male relative of Thompson as a person of interest, and there was speculation that the perpetrators likely knew their marks, but no arrests had been made as of Monday, according to police sources.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit tips on the website.