Custody dispute over 1-year-old child sparked Christmas Day shooting of Long Island parents by their bodybuilder son: cops

·2 min read

A Christmas morning custody fight sparked a crazed Brooklyn bodybuilder to shoot his wealthy parents, emptying his weapon before pistol-whipping his wounded dad inside the family’s Long Island mansion, authorities said Wednesday.

Dino Tomassetti, 29, began blasting away as his 1-year-old son and the baby’s mother stood watching inside the family’s $3.2 million suburban home as their holiday turned into a horror show, according to court documents.

“Once the gun was empty, he repeatedly bashed his father in the head with the weapon,” court papers stated. “He then fled in the vehicle, leaving the gun behind.”

Tomassetti sped off in a Cadillac Escalade from the Hewlett Harbor estate and his bleeding parents, and ignored multiple orders from law enforcement to pull over and stop, authorities said.

The defendant was arrested in New Jersey later on Dec. 25. He waived his right to an extradition hearing, and was returned to Long Island early Wednesday. He appeared in Nassau County District Court for arraignment later Wednesday on two charges of attempted murder, officials said.

His parents Rocco Tomassetti, 65, and Vincenza Tomassetti, 64, needed surgery after surviving the bullets fired by their son shortly after his arrival on Christmas morning — with the shooting suspect becoming increasingly irate during an escalating argument.

An order of protection was granted at Wednesday’s hearing for both parents, the little boy named for his grandfather, and the boy’s mother. An objection by the defense to the order regarding the son was quickly rejected.

“Based on what’s described in the record, those individuals were within what I would describe as an extreme zone of danger,” ruled Nassau District Court Judge Lisa Petrocelli.

Defense attorneys said Tomassetti planned to enter pleas of not guilty on each count. He was arrested hours after the shooting in Mahwah, N.J., in northern Bergen County.

The defendant’s girlfriend and his best friend sat weeping outside the courtroom after Thomassetti was ordered held without bail pending a Jan. 5 court date. Both declined to speak about the suspect.

The accused gunman, who stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 235 pounds, was a weightlifter who boasted online about his ability to bench press more than 500 pounds.

The family dispute turned violent around 10 a.m. as the 1-year-old baby’s paternal grandparents were taking care of the child, according to a felony complaint. Tomassetti threatened to leave the sprawling family property in Hewlett with the child, who was staying with his parents.

He pointed the gun at his mother when the couple tried to intervene and keep the boy, and then shot both parents as his son and the boy’s mother stood watching, cops said.

Rocco Tomassetti was shot in the back and the left wrist while his wife Vincenza was shot in the head, cops said.

Dino Tomassetti lives in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, court papers say. His parents remained hospitalized on Wednesday.

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