4 people, including boy, fatally shot at apartment building

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NEW YORK (AP) — Four people, including a young boy, were shot and killed late Monday at an apartment building, police said.

Detectives were investigating whether the deaths might have been a murder-suicide.

Officers were called shortly before 9 p.m. to a building in the Astoria section of Queens. In a first-floor apartment, they found two women, a man, and a boy about 5 years old, New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told reporters.

Pronounced dead at the scene, all four had been shot, and the man's throat had been slashed, police said. They said a gun was found at the scene.

Officials were still poring over the apartment and backyard, and Shea cautioned that the investigation was still in its preliminary stages.

Shea said the possibility of a murder-suicide is something they're looking into.

"We don't lean either way, but that is that something, certainly, we will look to," he said.

Officers were working to confirm the victims' identities, and it wasn't immediately clear whether they were related. Investigators also were interviewing the person who called 911 and examining data to determine whether police had received any relevant calls in the past from not only the apartment but the nearby area.

"We don't want to leave any stone unturned," Shea said. "There are calls that we believe are going to be related to that building, but it's a little preliminary."

The shootings brought a throng of officers to the low-rise brick building, some in heavy tactical gear, as well as a police dog, TV news video showed. Bystanders gathered behind police lines on the roped-off block.

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