LAKE LUZERNE --- The street where a Lake Luzerne woman was killed on Christmas eve was subdued Christmas morning as authorities had mostly cleared the scene.
One Warren County sheriff’s deputy was stationed in front of the Lake Avenue building where the fatal stabbing took place, sitting in a squad car next to a line of police tape that blocked the entrance to the crime scene.
A neighbor of the woman who died in the attack — Patricia A. Burns, 42 — said she lived there with her two teenage daughters. Burns’ estranged husband has been charged with second degree murder in the attack.
The neighbor, who declined to give his name, said he knew the victim and her daughters, and although he had never met the estranged husband, said he had heard of the husband making threats in the past.
Police said two young women also were hurt during the attack, but revealed the name of only one — Megan Jenkins, 22, of Lake Luzerne. Police did not reveal her relationship to the victim.
The suspect, identified as Clifford R. Burns, 46, of Troy-Schenectady Road, Niskayuna, was arrested after a car chase that ended in Queensbury. He was charged late Tuesday with second-degree murder.
Patricia Burns was pronounced dead at Glens Falls Hospital, while the two other victims were being treated at the hospital late Tuesday.
Warren County Sheriff Bud York said one had serious wounds that were not believed to be life-threatening, while the other’s injuries were considered less serious.
Jenkins was admitted to the hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Clifford Burns entered his wife’s second-floor apartment shortly after 5 p.m. and attacked her with a knife, stabbing her multiple times, police reported.
Jenkins was stabbed in the arms when she tried to intervene, police said.
Authorities said the case is still under investigation, and additional charges are anticipated.
The apartment sits over The Hardware Store at the corner of Lake Avenue and Davern Drive.
Residents of a second apartment above The Hardware Store were not allowed back into their apartment until about 4 a.m. Wednesday, because a State Police forensic identification team was working at the site.
A neighbor who knew the family, but had never met Clifford, said Patricia lived there with three daughters — two of them in their teens and one older.
York said it was unclear what led to the attack, but there had been a history of domestic problems and an ongoing Family Court battle between the Burnses. He said he could not elaborate late Tuesday.
“There have been Family Court problems for years. It appears it was intensifying,” he said.
York said Patricia Burns suffered multiple stab wounds, but further details of what happened in the apartment — where on Tuesday night Christmas lights shined through the windows as sheriff’s officers guarded the scene — were not immediately released.
A neighbor said screams could be heard from outside the building when the attack occurred, and at least one neighbor rushed into the home at the tail end of the attack.
Clifford Burns fled, and witnesses gave police a description of his vehicle, York said.
York said sheriff’s patrols and state troopers spotted the vehicle and chased it to the county Municipal Center, where Burns drove to the Sheriff’s Office, tossing items out the window as he entered the parking lot, then stopping in the agency’s side parking lot.
“He basically came here. He knew he was in trouble,” York said.
The knife used in the stabbings had not been recovered as of late Tuesday, the sheriff said.
On Tuesday night, York said Clifford Burns “has been rambling for a couple of hours” in police custody, but the sheriff said he could not comment on what was said.
Burns was charged with one county of second degree murder, arraigned in Warren County Supreme Court and sent to Warren County Jail without bail.
Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan referred comment to York.
Davern Drive was closed Tuesday night to through traffic, but was reopened Wednesday morning.
Another neighbor who asked not to be named said she did not know the Burnses but had seen one of the girls who lived there riding her bike before. She said the block was generally quiet, with many elderly people living there. She said her family was visiting relatives Christmas Eve and returned that night with their four young children to heavy police activity.
“It definitely can put a damper on your spirits. It’s heartbreaking to think about what happened,” the neighbor said.
Neighbor Chris Gori said he moved to Lake Luzerne from the New York City area to get away from violence.
“My wife is flipping out. This is way too close to home,” he said.
Patricia Burns was a nurse’s assistant who had worked in hospice care, while Cliff Burns worked for a tree company. They moved to the Lake Luzerne area in 2008 or 2009, according to a friend.
The family dealt with tragedy on Dec. 27, 2010, when Patricia Burns’ 15-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, Christalin Canavan, died in her sleep. She was a 10th-grader at Hadley-Luzerne Central School when she died.
Clifford Burns was arraigned early Wednesday by state Supreme Court Justice David Krogmann and sent to Warren County Jail without bail.
He is due back in Lake Luzerne Town Court on Jan. 8.