A Bronx man suspected of suffocating his girlfriend and her 10-year-old girl before shooting himself in the head is a yellow cab driver now facing criminal charges as he fights to live, authorities said Sunday.
Ezort Stevens remained hospitalized at St. Barnabas Hospital in critical condition Sunday. Police sources said they are prepared to charge him with weapon possession as they work to pin the deaths of his girlfriend and daughter on him.
Stevens is a yellow cab driver who drives a wheelchair-accessible vehicle and is trained to offer rides to passengers with disabilities, records show.
Girlfriend Linda Manigault, 34, and her daughter Heaven Ross were found dead about 1:30 p.m. Saturday when her 13-year-old son and two of his sisters returned to the home. Stevens was lying on a bed with his eyes open, a gun in his hand and a bullet in his head, sources said.
“It was quiet. And then all of a sudden you hear a baby girl scream,” said neighbor Jose Cruz, 46, whose kids are friends with the children in the victim’s family.
Cruz saw Stevens transported to the hospital.
“He was in the gurney cuffed. There was a nasty hole in his head,” he said. “EMS were trying to do chest compressions on him.”
“I hope he recovers so he could suffer,” he added.
Neighbor Melania DeSorto, 69, comforted the three children after they made the grim discovery.
“I gave the little one a hug. She was gasping for air because she was crying so much, so forcefully,” DeSorto said, speaking in Spanish. “I saw the kids crying with the policeman so I told them, ‘Bring them here, away from that.’”
“The boy was acting strong but you can tell he was nervous, he was very confused,” she added. “I embraced him. I hugged them. I gave them water.”
The children were trying to understand the horror they had seen.
“You had the older one trying to keep them okay,” DeSorto said. “But the little girl said she saw her mother sleeping. And the older one said, ‘No, I’m sorry, it’s a long time she’s not breathing.’ And the little girl kept saying ‘My sister, she’s sick. What happened to my little sister?’”
Neighbors described Manigault as a devoutly religious woman who invited neighbors to join her in church.
Anna Quiñones, 45, said the victim’s family moved into the house next door to hers in September.
“You would see her out in the morning walking with the kids to school,” she said of Manigault.