Shooting Brings Violent Crimes to Rep. Zeldin’s Doorstep – KIRO 7 News Seattle

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NEW YORK – (AP) – A shooting outside US Rep. Lee Zeldin’s Long Island home gives the Republican a new, personal perspective on the kind of violent crime that was the focus of his campaign for governor.

Two 17-year-old boys were injured by gunfire from a moving car as they walked outside Zeldin’s home on Sunday afternoon, police said. Zeldin’s daughters, both 16, heard the shots, locked themselves in a bathroom and called 911.

“You can’t get any closer than here,” Zeldin told a reporter while attending a parade Monday. “It could be anyone in the entire state.”

Police have released few details about the injured teenagers, whose injuries were not life-threatening, or what may have led to the shooting.

Speaking to reporters outside Zeldin’s home, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said investigators suspect the victims were assaulted and are looking into whether the shooting may have been gang related. No arrests were made.

Harrison said he was dispatching more officers to Zeldin’s neighborhood in Shirley on Long Island’s south shore as a precaution. A squad car was parked near Zeldin’s home on Monday.

Zeldin, who is running against Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, has made fighting violent crime a pillar of his campaign.

Overall, statistics show that Suffolk County, where he lives, is relatively safe.

Associated with the Hamptons and their beachfront shores in popular imagination, the county is one of the wealthiest in the United States. It had the fifth-lowest violent crime rate of the state’s 62 counties last year, according to state data.

By August of this year, the Suffolk Police Department, which patrols much of the borough of 1.5 million, had reported 47 shootings and 12 deaths from shootings. That is less than at the same time in 2021.

Zeldin and his wife were returning from a parade in the Bronx and were not home at the time of the shooting. Police said they had no reason to believe it had any connection to him. The wounded teenagers were from the nearby towns of Mastic and Mastic Beach.

Zeldin said his daughters were shaken but otherwise safe. They marched with him Monday in the 78th Annual Columbus Day Parade in Manhattan.

“Yesterday was a pretty traumatic day,” Zeldin said. “When they heard the screams, the worry was — for them, the most traumatic thing was they thought those people were trying to get into the house.”

It’s the second fear Zeldin has had in several months.

In July, he was attacked during an election campaign in upstate New York when a man approached him on stage and rammed a sharp object near his head and neck. He was unharmed, the man was arrested.

Zeldin has pledged to fight crime by rolling back the state’s bail reforms that went into effect in 2020, and singled out Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, who said he would try to remove him from office , if he were elected.

He also welcomed the June Supreme Court ruling that overturned a New York gun law and made it easier for people to own guns.

There have been at least three other shootings in other parts of Zeldin’s town of Shirley that year.

In January, a 34-year-old man was shot dead about 2 miles from Zeldin’s home. In February, one man was wounded and three houses were hit by gunfire. In August, a couple died from gunshot wounds in a suspected murder-suicide.

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