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In one of the more bizarre and disturbing news stories, it has been reported that New York City actor Michael Brea (who appeared on the television series Ugly Betty, as well as this year's Step Up 3D) murdered his own mother, Yanick Brea, with a sword.
The New York Daily News reports that 31-year-old Brea killed his 55-year-old mother on Tuesday morning after he thought she was possessed by the devil. Police were called to Yanick's Brooklyn apartment after neighbors heard her screams. "Her screams woke me up. Screams I'll never forget," one neighbor said. Another neighbor said they heard Michael, as well, and claimed he was yelling, "Sinner! Sinner!" and "You never accepted Jesus!"
When police removed Michael (who was allegedly wearing "fire and brimstone" attire and clutching a bible) from the scene, it was already too late for Yanick (who had worked at the Marriott World Trade Center and survived the 9/11 attacks). She was found dead from multiple stab wounds. The weapon was said to be a "Masonic ceremonial sword."
Neighbors and family members now question whether the horrific crime could have been prevented all together if measures had been taken earlier. One resident told the NYDN, the police, "just kept saying protocol this and protocol that. Now a woman's dead who should be alive if only the police would have listened." Yanick's brother Serge Mercel told the paper, "To think my sister was inside, crying for her life, and the police that are supposed to be protecting her are standing at the door. It's enough to make me sick."
But, the NYPD assure the incident was handled properly. NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the New York Daily News: "It's a barricaded situation and that is handled by the Emergency Services Unit. What happens in a barricade situation is that responding patrol officers, if possible, wait for the Emergency Services forces to arrive." An NYPD spokeswoman added, "This was necessary protocol, because the person appeared dangerous to himself and the officers."
While Michael, who had no previous arrests, has not been officially charged, police told TVGuide.com that Brea is a "person of interest" in the murder.
Leave your condolences for the friends and family of Yanick Brea below.