Police Monday searched for the killer of a man shot close to a Uniondale church during Sunday services, and the pastor called for an emergency meeting Tuesday to calm parishioners and neighbors "disturbed" by the violence.
The victim, 34, was shot at 10:45 a.m. at 625 Hill St. near the Tabernacle of Joy Church after arguing with another man, Nassau detectives said.
He was pronounced dead at 12:25 p.m. Sunday at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, police said. His name was not released, pending notification of family, police said. No other details about the shooting were released.
It happened yards from the church and just minutes after a family with young children arrived for services late to join about 70 other worshippers inside, said Bishop J. Raymond "Megalos" Mackey, the pastor.
"They could have been caught up in the crossfire," Mackey said of the family.
He said he heard three shots, but thought it was fireworks in advance of the Fourth of July and did not go out right away.
"We were inside having a service, and somebody outside was getting killed," Mackey said. "It was just devastating. We have all ages, from little babies to seniors, and to see a crime scene right there, on the side of the church, is a little challenging. We have a congregation that left here disturbed."
Mackey said police told him the man was shot four times.
He and First Precinct police officials will lead a 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday night at the church to talk about the shooting and measures to prevent more violence.
Mackey, a co-founder of Helping End Violence Now, said neighbors said the shooting was gang-related. Police said that is false. Mackey hopes the meeting will calm fears of gang wars and clear up misconceptions. "We don't want a gang making an assumption," he said, "and then planning a retaliation over something that wasn't gang-related."