Mamaroneck Village Slay Suspect Apparent Suicide: 3 Children
Safe, Aunt on Life Support
by Judy Silberstein
(September 23, 2004) A violent incident that started with
the shooting death of one woman, critical wounding of her
sister, and abduction of her three children in Village
of Mamaroneck’s Columbus Park around 3 pm on Saturday,
September 18, ended early Monday morning with the apparent
suicide of the perpetrator.
According to Detective Sergeant Robert Holland of the Village
of Mamaroneck Police Department, Columbus Park was the mutually
agreed upon meeting place for Clifford Bonner, 42, and his
estranged wife, Michelle Bonner, 30, neither one of whom
was living in Mamaroneck. Mr. Bonner showed up in the park
on Saturday afternoon with the couple’s three children,
Sheila, 12, Stacey, 9, and James, 7; Mrs. Bonner, who had
been living in Mount Vernon, came with her half-sister, Candice
Rampersad, 18, also from Mount Vernon. Police believe Mr.
Bonner had been living in his van.
Following thirty minutes of arguing over marital difficulties,
Mr. Bonner fatally shot his wife, then shot Ms. Rampersad,
and left in the van with the three children.
Village of Mamaroneck Police issued an Amber Alert, the
system set after the 1996 kidnap and murder of Amber Hagerman
in 1996, to quickly alert law enforcement and the general
public of a child’s abduction in order to help with
the child’s safe recovery. (See: Amber
Late Sunday night, Sgt. Holland received a call from Mr.
Bonner's sister: Mr. Bonner had called, said the children
were safe, said he was going to kill himself, then he hung
up the phone. A short while later, the Village of Mamaroneck
desk officer received a call with information of a single
shot heard in the vicinity of the Mount Pleasant home of
Mr. Bonner’s father, where police were conducting an
extensive search. Mr. Bonner had dropped the children off
with his father before running off. He is believed to have
Since Monday, the Journal News, New
York Times, New York
Post and other media have reported extensively
on the case and have delved into details of Mr. Bonner’s
prior legal, emotional and marital difficulties and the way
family, probation, police and court systems dealt with his
situation. Westchester County has already made changes in
their interagency communication system and will be continuing
to consider improvements.
As of Wednesday, September 22, the three children were in
the care of Westchester County and Candice Rampersad
remained on life
support at Sound
Shore Medical Center.