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Witnesses Capture Man After Woman Killed, Children Thrown Off Balcony

August 26, 1987

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ An 8-year-old girl died after she and her brother and sister were hurled off a third-floor balcony, but bystanders captured a man as he yelled ″I killed them all.″

The children’s mother, Claudia McGown, was found stabbed to death after the youngsters were thrown off the balcony in a housing project Tuesday night.

Eight-year-old Leslie McGown died early Wednesday at Charity Hospital, said hospital Deputy Director Jim Meade. Brandy McGown, 6, and Brandon McGown, 3, were in stable condition.

Thomas Brown Jr., 38, of New Orleans was booked Wednesday on two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, said police spokesman John Bryson.

Bryson said police had not determined a motive for the rampage but Brown and Ms. McGown apparently had an argument. Bryson said police know little about Brown or his connection to the McGown family.

Valinda Roberts, 25, said she saw the children thrown off the balcony.

″I saw him throw the little boy first. I thought it was a big baby doll. But then I saw what it was.

″I went to it, but people said, ‘Don’t pick it up.’ I was getting ready to turn around and he threw the second child, a little girl .... . She fell on top of me. She hit me from behind. I fell down and she fell over me.

″Then he threw the third one and she fell on her face on the concrete and busted up her face real bad. He was walking away and he hollered ’I killed all of them.‴

Sterling Williams was one of the bystanders who caught Brown and held him for police.

″He was so cool. ... About three of us grabbed him,″ Williams said. ″He was trying to fight us. He say, ‘Yeah, I killed them.’ ″

″I’m no hero,″ Williams said. ″I’m a man and ain’t nobody going to do no children like that while I’m living.″

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