Neighbors demand answers following double murder in Waterloo

July 12, 2018 10:39 AM

Investigators held a brief press conference Thursday morning following the ambush killings of two people in Seneca County.

There are still a lot of questions about what happened in this case. Some neighbors are even blaming the justice system and investigators for not doing enough to prevent the murders.

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Troopers say 48-year-old Emerson Tohafjian ambushed two women who got dropped off by a cab around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday after a night out. One of the women and another man who was also at the apartment on Virginia Street at the time were killed. The third victim, who called 911, has been released from the hospital.

Tohafjian was captured hours later at a campground in Phelps.

The suspect had been previously arrested twice in just the past month. In one case, he is accused of raping and beating a woman. 

Police would not confirm if she is one of the victims in the double murder, but sources who know the suspect say she was.  

Bail for his June 19th arrest in the rape investigation was set at $10,000 and posted by family members. Concerned neighbors said that was not nearly enough.

“This was a proven pattern of abuse and it’s senseless because it could have been stopped," a source who knows the suspect, but asked to keep her identity hidden, told News10NBC. 

“These other people didn't have a chance,” Joan Richardson, a friend and neighbor of the victims said. “Ambushed them out in the bushes out there. It's not fair."

Before his arrest, State Police said the gunman had self-inflicted cuts on his arm and neck. Tohafjian was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital where he is in stable condition.

Troopers say he will be charged with the two murders once he's released and the grand jury will decide if he will face other charges.

The police chief of the Village of Waterloo said these are the first murders in Waterloo in nearly 20 years.

Watch Thursday's press conference in its entirety below:


Brennan Somers

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