The husband and wife were at their first-floor apartment in a brownstone on Decatur Street when at least two masked men with weapons stormed in shortly before 4 p.m., according to the sources.
During the tiff, he raised the vase and hit the other man with it.
Then, authorities said, they ransacked the home - but it's not clear if anything was taken from the home.
Medics took his victim to Woodhull Hospital, where he was treated and released.
But the crime went from bad to terrible when 91-year-old Waldiman Thompson, the husband of 100-year-old Ethlin, died later that day, according to the New York Post. While the thieves rummaged through the home, the frail Ethlin somehow escaped her bonds and ran from the house.
"She came running out", Peterson said.
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"She said somebody just tied me and my husband up and robbed us and said please use your phone", he said. "They tied him up and tied me up too, '" he said.
Although the officers performed CPR, Waldiman Thompson was pronounced dead after he arrived at Interfaith Medical Center.
The sources said the man may have been beaten by the home invaders, but the nature of his injuries weren't clear.
Investigators believe the couple may have been targeted because they were the building's landlords and the theft could have been easy for someone who knows their routine. Grose, the niece of 91-year-old Waldiman Thompson, is unable to contain her unbearable pain. It breaks my heart to see my uncle died.
"To see my uncle go like this, someone has to be punished".