Manhasset residents had turned out in force to see a lacrosse game under the lights on Saturday night, May 4. They got more excitement than they bargained for. A little after 8:30 p.m. police cars began to arrive on Manhasset Avenue and a police helicopter hovered overhead. The word was spread that there had been a shooting at 95 Manhasset Avenue, just over the LIRR bridge from the field. The homeowner, Nikolaos Kotsopoulos, called 911 and said that there had been a shooting. He told authorities that a masked man had broken into his house, which is guarded by floodlights, surveillance cameras and a German shepherd. He said that the man fired one shot at his wife, Carol, 41, and fled. Nikolaos Kotsopoulos told authorities that he tried, but failed, to tackle the intruder. At the time the couple's two young sons, George and Nikolaos, were playing in the basement. The police arrived within minutes but found no trace of the gunman. Mrs. Kotsopoulos was transported to North Shore University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 10:47 p.m.
Neighbors said that the reason the house had such heavy security was that it had been broken into a year ago by two men who tied up and handcuffed the family before fleeing with money that Kotsopoulos kept in a safe. Other neighbors said that the Kotsopouloses were known to have had serious domestic fights.
Lt. Dennis Farrell, commander of the Nassau County Police Department's homicide squad, said: "As the case progressed, we determined that his original allegation that there had been an intruder in the house who would murder his wife was a fabrication. We developed other evidence that the husband, Mr. Kotsopoulos, was responsible for his wife's death." Of particular note was the fact that the dog, chained to a tree in the yard, did not bark at an intruder. A neighbor said later that he passes 95 Manhasset Avenue every morning on his way to St. Mary's and the dog always barks loudly at him. Lieutenant Farrell said that there had been a history of domestic violence in the house. Police were summoned to the Kotsopoulos house twice to respond to domestic violence reports.
At 5:40 p.m. on Monday, two days after the shooting, police arrested Nikolaos Kotsopoulos, 40, and charged him with his wife's murder. A 9mm pistol was recovered at the scene.
Mr. Kotsopoulos has retained an attorney, Oscar Michelen. Mr. Michelin told the press that he believes the Police Department has jumped to an erroneous conclusion.
George Kotsopoulos is a sixth-grader at Shelter Rock School and Nikolaos a fourth-grader at St. Mary's.