Gunslinging Granny Arrested For Attempted Murder


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

Law enforment officials said the bad blood between the two eldery women reached its boiling point Tuesday night when gun-toting octogenarian Maria 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."

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.

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

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