An Army Reserves
soldier suspected of stabbing a stranger to death outside the city's main post office before killing himself claimed in a suicide note that he acted in self-defense.
Sir'mone McCaulla, 28, posted the rambling, self-pitying note on his MySpace
page and e-mailed it to a friend before he took his own life in the tub of his ex-girlfriend's Philadelphia
"Not gonna lie didn't mean to kill him just wanted to stop the threat," wrote McCaulla
He said Christopher Gutierrez
instigated the fight after they knocked into each other outside the James A. Farley Post Office
on Eighth Ave.
"I turned around cause we bumped into each other," wrote McCaulla. "He started talking like watch where you goin and we could fight." "I'm standing there cause I'm not gonna turn my back on him," wrote McCaulla, "and hes already talking in a volence [sic] tone of voice and took off his jacket that's when my I started to get defensive."
McCaulla was identified as the prime suspect in the killing by Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly
, who said surveillance video of the stabbing showed the two men squaring off Sunday afternoon.
In his note, McCaulla said he was not looking for a fight but rather just heading home to East Harlem
to visit his 3-year-old daughter Samirah. "I just got off the bus from new jersey didn't have a worry," he write, "was just tryin to make it home to see my daughter."
Investigators said McCaulla plunged a knife into Gutierrez's chest, causing the father of a 1-year-old son to collapse and bleed to death on the post office steps.
After the killing, McCaulla fled to Philadelphia, where he was found in a tub full of water with a plastic bag over his head and a television cable box on his chest, suggesting he electrocuted himself.
"This is the way I'm goin out, rather go out in the hands of myself than another man," McCaulla wrote. "Sad to say but that's how I feel," he wrote. "If its hard for me for me to find work out of the army its gonna be 10 times harder if I come out as a felon." "I hope this shows that the system is not built to fix a person," he said, before signing off.
"To those that supported me I lived my life now it time for me to go - Love Sir'mone." When McCaulla logged into his MySpace page to post the suicide note, he made his mood "At Rest."
His former girlfriend had not seen McCaulla in months before he arrived at her home unannounced Tuesday, the woman's new boyfriend said. "He just happened to come down out of the blue - just popped up," said the boyfriend, who added that the couple had no idea McCaulla was running from the law. "That's why she's so messed up.
She didn't know." McCaulla's stunned friends said the suspected killer was a devoted single father to his young daughter and had hoped that his time in the Army would lead to a better life for his family. "He was very loving and extremely doting to that little girl," said Ariane Bonaventure
"We can't believe this happened."
McCaulla joined the Army Reserves in 2003 and obtained the rank of specialist, military officials said. He spent time in Kuwait
and also served a tour in Iraq
in 2006, his friends said.
He was identified as a suspect after a cop recognized him from their time in the military, police said. McCaulla had three prior arrests on his rap sheet, including busts for robbery and burglary, Commissioner Kelly said.
His suicide deprived Gutierrez's family of closure, they said. "It didn't have to go down like that \[but\] his conscience couldn't take it," said the victim's sister Linda Rodriguez
"He probably didn't want to suffer. He took the easy way out, that's what he did." "What I really wanted was answers," she said.
"I just wanted to know why. Now we'll never know." Gutierrez, 20, will be laid to rest tomorrow.