Murder suspect Aljo Mrkulic fought police officers while naked after attempting to set fire to his gay victim’s apartment, according to a police report.
Mrkulic is facing first-degree murder, assault, and arson charges over the killing of Christopher Rodriguez in East Harlem, New York City, on Saturday.
Aljo Mrkulic allegedly mutilated his victim before attacking police while naked.
According to police reports, Rodriguez’ naked body was found with multiple stab wounds in the hallway of his apartment building, “with his testicles mangled, his stomach partially cut open.”
Police allege that after the killing, Mrkulic attempted to set fire to the victim’s apartment – before violently clashing with officers who arrived at the scene. He was ultimately subdued, arrested and carried away while still naked.
One neighbour told the New York Post: “There was a lot of blood in the hallway – a lot of blood all over the place. I was in the military. You see blood. That freaked me out.
“People on the floor told me he ran to a neighbour’s door naked and they didn’t let him in. They said they heard some arguing going on in the apartment.”
According to the Post, police believe that Rodriguez and Mrkulic were in a relationship – though the officers investigating the killing are yet to publicly confirm this.
Murder victim ‘was loved by everybody’, says mother.
Rodriguez’ mother Jacqueline Perez, told the New York Daily News that she did not think her son was romantically involved with Mrkulic, who he had known since childhood – suggesting they lived together because the suspect had been down on his luck.
She said: “My son had seen him homeless after his mother threw him out for cursing her out. He didn’t want to see him on the street.
“He took him in not even a month ago. My son helped him out with money. Aljo wanted wanted to be romantically involved but my son didn’t feel that way about him.”
Perez said her son was openly gay, saying: “He never had any problem with that and neither did our family.”
She added: “Everybody loved my son. He always went to parties to dance. He was always taking care of animals. He would even feed cats in the street.
“He was alive and happy always. He was the centre of our family. We are crushed.”