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Family: Watervliet stabbing victim was related to Newtown victim

Updated: 04/23/2013 11:00 AM
Created: 04/21/2013 7:00 PM WNYT.com
By: Steve Flamisch

WATERVLIET -- The city man who was fatally stabbed inside his apartment Sunday was related to a victim of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting massacre, a family member confirmed to NewsChannel 13.

David Hochsprung, 51, was the brother-in-law of principal Dawn Hochsprung, who was fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, the relative said.

Another relative said David and Dawn did not know each other, though a neighbor on the street where David lived said mourners did gather at his house following Dawn's funeral.

"He seemed like a normal guy, nice guy," neighbor Pete Strack said of Hochsprung. "I would see him every couple of days. We would chit-chat. He was polite, friendly."

Hochsprung and his roommate, Brandon Burritt, 30, argued about phone usage before engaging in a bloody "knife fight" Sunday inside the two-bedroom apartment they shared at 1618 5th Ave., police said. Burritt called 911 at about 4 p.m. Officers found him covered in blood at the bottom of the stairs.

"Burritt was suffering from obvious multiple stab/slash wounds to his upper torso and neck area," according to a police press release. "He indicated that there was a second subject upstairs in the apartment. "

The second subject, Hochsprung, was found unresponsive with multiple "stab/slash wounds" on his head, neck, and torso, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The coroner removed his body at about 7:20 p.m. Sunday.

Burritt underwent emergency surgery at Albany Medical Center, police said. He was still recovering from his injuries late Monday.

A neighbor, who preferred to remain anonymous, described Burritt as a friendly, hard-working man who was holding down two jobs at one point. The neighbor expressed disbelief that Burritt would stab anyone for reasons other than self-defense.

Police Chief Ron Boisvert said Sunday it was too early in the investigation to say whether Burritt would be charged with murdering Hochsprung. In two press releases issued Monday, Boisvert said the investigation was ongoing. He did not return phone calls or e-mails seeking additional information.

A second-floor window was partially shattered, with blood streaming down the siding on the front of the house and pooling on the sidewalk. It was unclear whether one of the men tried to escape through the window.

The sight of the blood shocked and sickened many neighbors.

"I've been here since 1956 and raised six kids here," Maurice Clough said. "This is the first time anything like that has happened since I've been here."

Boisvert said Sunday police have been to the residence in the past, but he did not elaborate on prior incidents except to say they were never as serious as the deadly altercation.

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