A gunman approached a man and a woman outside a Bronx motel early Saturday, then fatally shot both of them before fleeing, the police and witnesses said.
The 50-year-old man and the 38-year-old woman were declared dead shortly after police officers arrived at the Holiday Motel in Eastchester.
The police did not identify either victim and no arrests had been made by Saturday evening.
A police official said that the man had been standing next to the passenger door of a car that was found in the motel parking lot with the engine running and appeared to have tried to escape. He was found on the ground near the motel entrance, some distance away.
The woman was found lying near the car, the official added.
The two-story motel sits next to the New England Thruway, in a lightly populated pocket of the borough close to the Westchester County border and a few blocks from the last stop on the No. 5 subway line.
A sign in the lobby advertises $40 rates for three-hour stays. Another sign reminds patrons that prostitution, drug use and loitering are prohibited.
A woman who was staying in the motel on Friday evening said that she heard gunshots in the middle of the night. The woman, Keshia Barrett, 36, who said she lives in the Bronx and was staying at the motel with her boyfriend, first heard a pair of shots ring out.
During a brief pause, Ms. Barrett said, she heard a woman scream before the gunshots resumed, followed by silence. The second burst of gunfire sounded closer to her room, Ms. Barrett added.
“I heard the lady screaming and it sounded like she said, ‘Please!’ or ‘No!’ ” Ms. Barrett said. “It was a begging for the life.”
Augustine Mawugbe, 45, a mechanic, said he was sleeping at the motel when gunshots woke him up. He peered through a window, he said, and saw a tall man in a brown shirt carrying a pistol in his right hand, who quickly got into a green or silver colored sedan with New York plates and sped off.
“He drove fast,” said Mr. Mawugbe, adding: “I was shaking.”
The victims were staying in a room on the motel’s second floor, near another room that was being used by about 30 teenagers who had crammed inside to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
One of those at the party, who would identify himself only as Tevin, said he saw the victims near the door to their room at about 10 p.m. They had their arms around each other, he said, and were conspicuous because of their affection and because the woman was holding a bottle in a celebratory fashion.
“We saw the girl come out with a bottle of Champagne with their arms around each other,” he said.
Tevin and others at the party said that they later saw the woman’s body in the parking lot beneath their room.
The teenagers said that chaos erupted in their room when the shooting began, with several young women trying to take cover in the bathtub.