The New York Police Department (NYPD) is reporting that five people — including three baby girls — were stabbed at an unlicensed overnight day care center in Flushing, Queens, by a woman who later tried to take her own life, according to Fox 5 and other outlets.
Neighbors told CBS New York they heard screams coming from the building early Friday morning; Police responded at about 3:30 a.m. (responding ambulance pictured in photo, above).
One of the babies is reportedly three days old and suffered a stab wound to the stomach; another is 20 days old and suffered lacerations to her ear, chin and lip.
The third baby is one month old and suffered a stab wound to the stomach.
The infants are in critical but stable condition at area hospitals.
A female worker at the center was stabbed eight times in the torso, reports say, and a 31-year-old male who tried to stop the assaults was stabbed in the leg, reported USA Today.
Police say the male stabbing victim is the father of a child who was at the day care center, but it is not clear whether his child was among those stabbed.
DAYCARE STABBING: Five people have been stabbed, including three infants, at a daycare center in New York. A female suspect is in custody with self-inflicted wounds to her wrists. https://t.co/wtf8PkPPcB
— 23 WIFR (@23WIFR) September 21, 2018
A 52-year-old woman is the alleged attacker; she was found unconscious by police in the basement with a slash wound to her left wrist.
Two knives were recovered at the scene, according to police, and a motive for the stabbings hasn’t been determined.
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All the victims and the alleged attacker were listed in critical but stable condition.
While motive for this crime remains unclear at this time, child professionals say that using licensed day care is critically important; child care licensing guarantees that child care facilities meet health and safety standards, notes Missourifamilies.org.
“Any person planning to offer child care for more than four unrelated children needs to apply for child care licensure and meet the requirements before providing services,” that organization notes on its website.
“When a child care facility is licensed, families know that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Child Care agree that the child care program is safe and healthy and that someone inspects the facility each year.”
One in three families (33 percent) now spend 20 percent or more of their annual household income on child care, according to a recent Care.com survey. Seven in 10 families say they are paying rates higher than the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ definition of affordable care, while nearly one in five families spends a quarter or more of their household income on child care.
See more on the horrific attack in the video below.