March 25th, 2010
10:05 PM ET

Feud among elderly ends in attempted murder charge

The elderly wife of Latin jazz legend Eddie Palmieri was shot by her 81-year-old neighbor in New York on Tuesday after a long-standing feud over harassment and noise complaints, authorities said.

Maria Cartagena was charged with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and assault, authorities said.

She is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail and ordered to return to court on April 7.

Law enforment officials said the bad blood between the two eldery women reached its boiling point Tuesday night when Cartagena and Iraida Palmieri, 73, met up in the elevator of their condo building in the Forest Hills section of Queens.

Palmieri told police that Cartagena told her twice "move over or I'm going to kill you." Then, according to police, Cartagena pulled a .38 revolver from her fanny pack and fired once at Palmieri, grazing her head with the bullet.

Palmieri was taken to Jamaica Hospital in Queens were she was treated for a scalp abrasion and released.

Rafael Cartagena, 60 - the suspect's husband - told CNN he and his wife are the real victims in this situation - not the Palmieris.

"One thing I know is that we have been through hell here living under these people, " Cartegena said. "Since we moved in, their whole intent was to make us move out."

Cartagena said soon after they moved into the building, Iraida Palmieri threatened his wife saying "either you move out of this building or we are going to send you back to the Dominican in boxes." He said harrassment followed soon after the threat, with Palmieri, who lives directly above them, putting on high heels and walking loudly over their heads early in the morning.

"She puts on high heels and starts walking for 30 minutes back and forth just to annoy us," Cartegena said.

He said they complained multiple times to police and nothing was done to help them.

On Tuesday, according to Cartegena, the noise was too much for his wife. He said she called him at work and said "these people are driving me crazy, banging over my head."

He said his wife was on her way downstairs to meet him when she ran into Palmieri in the elevator.

Maria Cartagena told police Palmieri had a pair of scissors and she felt threatened, so she "ran inside, got the gun and came out."

In a statement, Eddie Palmieri said he is focusing on his wife's well being and dismissed the accusations made against them.

"Right now I am solely focused on the well being and safety of my wife, who is resting comfortably after this unprovoked attack," he said. "It is deeply saddening to hear the allegations posed in defense of this criminal act."

Eddie Palmieri has been a Latin and Salsa bandleader and pianist for 50 years and has won nine Grammy awards, his first in 1975.

- From CNN's Cheryl Robinson

Post by:
Filed under: U.S.
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Mary

    Hi. I am with the Palmieri's on this one. These people are two plus wacko I am so glad Mrs. Palmieri was not seriously injured in this attack. I ran into someone like this at a restaurant once who said I was trying to give them the evil eye. I think someone needs medication.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. APChekhov

    I'm no lawyer, but there has to be a clear and present danger to your life in order to exercise lethal force in self-defense. I don't think the elderly lady with the gun fits the bill.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sfirx

    No excuse to shoot someone because you're irritated by their annoying behavior. Just move!

    March 26, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. tim lo

    with all the provided info i will go with Cartagena. sometimes, some people drive you nuts and are simply asking for it... unfortunately, this lady decided to pull a gun instead of sticking a finger

    March 26, 2010 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. cindy

    I can totally understand this. I have neighbors next door in a townhouse that are driving me crazy too. There are 3 kids and the woman babysits 3 more and they run and scream and carry on all day long with no let-up until they go to bed. There is no peace and quiet here at all and my landlord won't do anything. I want to go over there and shoot them all.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Shawn

    I've lived next to noisy people before. While it's no excuse to shoot at somebody, having no legal process to get them to stop ruining your life will at times lead to people taking it into their own hands. This isn't the first case of somebody using violence against a bad neighbor.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. warsteiner

    I think when she says she ran into get her gun to protect herself she was wrong. She could have called the cops about the scissors or just stayed away. But i do believe some people will do things like extra banging around to annoy the neighbors and thats enough to make you want to kill them.

    March 26, 2010 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. Michael

    I agree that some people can be annoying but is that really probable cause to pull out a gun and shot them? Lets keep this real now. Mrs. Cartagena had many other options to take besides trying to take the life of another human being. I think the attempted murder charge should be inforced upon this woman and that she should get what comes with it. Although I don't think thats what she will be charged with in the end. She will get and assault charge and be put on probation.

    March 26, 2010 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. FLcynic

    Maria Cartagena was charged with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and assault, authorities said.

    She is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail and ordered to return to court on April 7.

    Good Grief! With those charges, why was the bail so low?

    Everyone knows the problems of living in apartments, condos, and townhouses, are that you share walls and/or floors and/or ceilings with other people, and you have no control over their behavior. You can hope for the best, and expect the worst, and if you're smart, you move, if you can't deal with other people's noise, or complain to a landlord, if you have a lease that requires you to adhere to specific noise restrictions.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. escort woman

    Rather cool place you've got here. Thank you for it. I like such themes and anything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.

    Julia Kuree

    August 18, 2010 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joan Simpson

    Cool post. Waiting for you to continue the topic.

    Joan Simpson
    polish escort in warsaw

    December 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |