Two people were shot Sunday outside the Shirley home of U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican gubernatorial candidate trying to unseat Gov. Kathy Hochul, according to police and the congressman’s campaign.
Three teenagers were walking on Saint George Drive West when an unknown assailant fired shots at the trio from the window of a passing dark-colored vehicle outside of Zeldin‘s home on Saint George Drive West at 2:20 p.m., officials said. The victims, identified only as 17-year-old Mastic Beach residents, were taken to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries. The congressman’s 16-year-old daughters Mikayla and Arianna were at home doing homework at the time while Zeldin and his wife Diana had just left the Bronx Columbus Day Parade in Morris Park, the congressman said.
“After my daughters heard the gunshots and the screaming, they ran upstairs, locked themselves in the bathroom and immediately called 911,” Zeldin said. “They acted very swiftly and smartly every step of the way and Diana and I are extremely proud of them. The two individuals who were shot were laying down under my front porch and the bushes in front of our porch.”
Police said the victims have no connection to the Zeldin family. Zeldin, who is running against the Democratic incumbent governor, has made rising crime rates and violent crime a focus of his campaign. He has called for the state’s bail laws to be toughened, among other measures.
“Law enforcement is currently at our house,” Zeldin said. “My entire family is at home working with the investigators and providing the security footage from our home cameras. My daughters are shaken, but OK. Like so many New Yorkers, crime has literally made its way to our front door. My family is grateful to all who have reached out and we will provide another update when we can.”
He said later in a post on Twitter that his daughters were at the kitchen table when the shooting occurred and that one of the bullets was found 30 feet away from them.
Seventh Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.
The incident comes after a man tried to stab Zeldin with a plastic keychain during a campaign speech in upstate New York over the summer.
“I’ve been briefed on the shooting outside of Congressman Zeldin’s home,” Hochul tweeted. “As we await more details, I’m relieved to hear the Zeldin family is safe and grateful for law enforcement’s quick response.”
–With Associated Press