Queens, NY – The mother of a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer was gunned down in her own doorway on Wednesday by a man who thought she was a witch who had placed a hex on him.
Police said that 41-year-old Giuseppe Canzani fired three times when 51-year-old Anna Torres, a local psychic, opened her front door at about 2:30 p.m. on May 5, WNBC reported.
Torres was shot twice, and one bullet struck her in the head.
Police found her lying face down in a pool of her own blood in the threshold of her home on 109th Avenue in Ozone Park.
She was pronounced dead at the scene five minutes after police arrived, WNBC reported.
Surveillance video from outside Torres’ home showed Canzani returning to a black Chevrolet Traverse with a gun in his hand after he shot the tarot card reader and fortune teller.
An hours later, he arrived at the local police precinct and turned himself in with the gun still in his hand, WNBC reported.
NYPD Deputy Chief Jerry O’Sullivan told reporters that Canzani placed his .45 caliber pistol on the sidewalk outside the precinct, the Daily Mail reported.
Officers tackled him to the ground and arrested him.
He was charged with murder and criminal possession of a firearm, according to Deputy Chief O’Sullivan.
Prosecutors said at Canzani’s arraignment that the gunman was a “gambling addict” who had confessed three times to killing Torres, the Daily Mail reported.
“The case is strong,” Assistant District Attorney Xhulia Derhemi said in court. “It has video surveillance evidence, witness testimony, and the defendant’s own statements.”
Derhemi said Canzani confessed to the shooting after he was taken into custody at the 106th Precinct, the Daily Mail reported.
“The defendant is charged with serious crimes here, the top charge being murder in the second degree,” Derhemi told the court. “He shot the victim, then admitted to three different members of the NYPD that he shot the victim.”
The prosecutor reviewed all three confessions in court, the Daily Mail reported.
“I want to turn myself in. I’m not here to hurt you guys. I’m here because of the woman I shot,” Canzani told police, according to prosecutors.
Later on, prosecutors said he made another confession to an NYPD lieutenant, the Daily Mail reported.
“That’s the woman I shot. They tried to kill me,” Canzani told him, according to the assistant district attorney.
Then the suspect told a detective that his victim was a witch, the Daily Mail reported.
“Anna told me the black chief of the NYPD wants to kill my wife. Anna is a witch,” he reportedly said.
A source told the Daily Mail that Canzani had a gambling problem and had gone to Torres for years for psychic readings.
Torres did tarot card readings and told fortunes from her home.
“The guy had been going to her for years, and he believes she put a curse on him,” the source told the Daily Mail.
“He’s had bad luck for the past couple weeks, including with gambling. He went to her house and shot her,” the source said.
Defense attorneys have requested a psychiatric evaluation for their client, the Daily Mail reported.
“If I tell you what’s going on with me you wouldn’t believe it,” Canzani allegedly told detectives.
“Not for nothing, I am supposed to be dead already, that’s all I know,” he said. “This woman, you guys will never understand. You would think I’m crazy.”
Canzani was employed by the New York City Department of Transportation working on bridge repairs, but officials said he had been suspended without pay on Thursday, the New York Post reported.
He is married to a teacher and has twins, according to a neighbor.
“I didn’t expect this from him — crazy,” the neighbor told the New York Post. “I was shocked. Everybody on the block is in shock.
“He’s just like everybody else. I’ve never seen him angry,” the neighbor said. “I’ve heard him raise his voice once in a while, but nothing special. If people parked in front of [where he lives], he’ll tell them to move, and they move.”
NYPD said there was no indication that Canzani knew Torres was the mother of a police officer, the Daily Mail reported.
Canzani was ordered held without bail at his arraignment and was scheduled to appear in court next on May 26.