Suffolk County police arrested a teenager allegedly found with the gun used in the drive-by shooting that wounded two teens outside of the Shirley home of U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor.
Noah Green, 18, of Shirley, was charged on Oct. 31 with felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property. Suffolk Judge Eric Sachs set bail for Green at $750,000 cash, $1.5 million bond or $7.5 million partially secured bond.
“Through that collaborative and diligent police work, we have now recovered one of the firearms used in that dangerous shooting,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney said. “The investigation is continuing and we expect that [we] will have more developments in the future.”
Prosecutors said a microscopic analysis of the Taurus 9MM pistol allegedly found in Green’s pocket upon his arrest showed that it was the firearm used in an Oct. 9 shooting in which two teenagers were shot in the chest outside of Zeldin’s home. The victims survived.
Authorities said Green, who was allegedly in a stolen car at the time, tried to flee on foot when approached by investigators who took him into custody on Halloween. Surveillance video and eyewitness statements from the day of the shooting revealed that the vehicle appeared to be a recent-model black Honda CRV with a white New York license plate consistent with the stolen vehicle that the defendant was observed in on Oct. 31, according to court documents.
“A forensic analysis of the pistol recovered from the defendant’s pocket was performed, revealing that the defendant’s fingerprint was present on the fully loaded magazine that was loaded inside the weapon,” investigators stated in court documents. “Additionally, members of law enforcement have been conducting ongoing social media surveillance of accounts belonging to the defendant and observed the [above] picture posted to the defendant’s Snapchat account on Friday, Oct. 28.”
Investigators said that he told police upon his arrest that he was “carrying it for protection.”
Green faces up to four years in prison, if convicted. He is represented by the Legal Aid Society and is due back in court on Nov. 4.
“The gun Green possessed was the weapon used in the shooting, but that does not mean that he was the shooter necessarily,” said Zeldin, who has made crime a central talking point in his campaign to unseat Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul. “This investigation is still ongoing, and we will continue to help law enforcement in any way we can.”
-With Associated Press