By Tommy Hallissey
A New York Police Department officer shot and killed his 19-yearold girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself in his Henry Hudson Parkway apartment Sunday, police said.
Frederic Maselli, 40, a sevenyear veteran of the NYPD, shot his girlfriend, Shirley Fontanez, five times — three times in the stomach and twice in the head — before firing one-shot from his 9-millimeter handgun into his own head.
A few neighbors, including Isidor Marcus, heard the gunshots, but the bodies weren't found until 1 p.m. on Monday when officers from Mr. Maselli's precinct, the 34th in Washington Heights, came looking for him because he didn't show up for work and didn't answer his cell phone.
Mr. Marcus, an acquaintance of Mr. Maselli's since childhood, never suspected he would take his own life, but Maria Espinoza, mother of Ms. Fontanez, was afraid for her daughter's safety. Ms. Espinoza said the officer had told her daughter he wanted to kill himself and take someone with him. She asked, "Who do you want to take?" But he did not answer.
Ms. Fontanez, who took the entrance exam to be an NYPD officer, planned to leave Mr. Maselli, according to Ms. Espinoza. "She told me I found somebody and he is different" than Frederc, Ms. Espinoza recalled. She said her daughter wanted out of the relationship.
On July 20, Ms. Fontanez went out with friends to La Marina near her Washington Heights home. On Saturday, Mr. Maselli allegedly called Ms. Fontanez and accused her of being out with another man. Ms. Espinoza said Mr. Maselli called her daughter numerous times on Saturday.
Finally she turned to her mother and said, "Mom, I have to go with him because he is driving me crazy." Those are the last words Ms. Espinoza heard her daughter say. Ms. Espinoza insisted her daughter didn't really want to go with Mr. Maselli, she had planned to go to a birthday party for a friend of her 3-year-old daughter, Sasha.
Ms. Espinoza phoned her daughter "like crazy" the rest of the weekend but received no response. She feared the worst, because, she said, Mr. Maselli was physically abusive to her teenage daughter. "I know she was fighting," said the mother. "She loved her daughter."
Mr. Marcus said he was surprised to read published reports of Mr. Maselli abusing his girlfriend. He said his friend was a laid back guy, who liked cars and spoke enthusiastically about his collars. He had two boys from a prior marriage and was seen to be a rather doting father. "You can't see this coming," said Mr. Marcus. He was so unsuspecting that when he heard the five gunshots Sunday morning he dismissed them. He checked for broken windows or nearby kids, but heard no screams so he went back about his business. It wasn't until Monday that he learned his pal had shot his girlfriend and then shot himself.