The Brooklyn woman fatally stabbed in an attack that also left her son in critical condition and her beloved poodle dead was remembered Monday as “a sweetheart of a person” by a lifelong friend.
“She was a beautiful person, she had a beautiful soul,” Ed Ferguson, 57, said of victim Donna Hyman, 58.
They grew up together in Starrett City, with Hyman eventually moving into another building in the development and starting her family.
“We were all really good friends, a lot of us,” Ferguson told the Daily News. “We were all close knit.”
Cops responding to a 911 call around 7 p.m. Friday found the dog, named Gigi, dead outside a building on Hornell Loop near Pennsylvania Ave., according to police sources.
Inside the building lobby, they found a 36-year-old man wounded and bleeding, said the sources. And on the 11th floor, they found Hyman in her apartment, dead from multiple stab wounds.
Hyman lived with her adult son, according to neighbors. One resident said she often quarreled with him over her dog’s incessant barking.
“Maybe they were fighting about the dog — I guess it was barking or something,” said Elizabeth Gonzalez, 47. “I remember when we would pass by her apartment, the dog would bark a lot.”
Detectives have not been able to question Hyman’s son while he undergoes medical treatment, said police sources. No arrests had been reported as of Monday evening.
Ferguson said Hyman, who was nicknamed “Teena Marie” when they were growing up, was generous and well-liked.
“Very giving, very caring,” Ferguson recalled. “I’ve seen Donna upset, but I’ve never seen her fight or argue with anybody.
“She was always supportive, very close to him,” Ferguson said of Hyman and her son. “That dog, she loved that dog.
The account of Hyman’s death left the friend in disbelief.
“It brought me to tears,” he said.
A message posted to a Facebook alumni page for students of Samuel J. Tilden High School said Hyman graduated in 1983 and had been known as Donna Murphy.
“Rest in peace I don’t know what to say,” Patricia Ann Montalbano-Piazza wrote on a social media page for residents of Starrett City.
“Sleep in Peace Donna and Gigi,” Wanda P. Cordero posted.
“We’re all going through the same thing,” Ferguson said of himself and his group of old friends. “You’re going to bed thinking about it, waking up thinking about it.”
Hyman and Ferguson’s mother lived in the same building, so they would run into each other when Ferguson visited, he said. The last time the old friends saw each other was less than a year ago, he said.
“I want the word to get out about her legacy, all the people she touched. What a beautiful person. I never thought I’d be doing this,” said Ferguson.