A lawyer in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's administration was in critical condition after being shot in the head by an apparent stray bullet early Monday during a spate of violence in Brooklyn before the West Indian American Day Carnival Parade that included a fatal stabbing, officials said.
A law enforcement source said Carey Gabay, 43, a first deputy general counsel at Empire State Development, the state's chief economic development agency, was on life support Monday.
A statement from Cuomo's office identified the wounded lawyer as a former assistant counsel for the governor and said he was in critical condition Monday at Kings County Hospital Center.
An Empire State Development spokesman said Gabay had undergone surgery.
The shooting occurred Monday at about 3:40 a.m. on Bedford Avenue between Sullivan Place and Montgomery Street, NYPD Assistant Chief Patrick Conry said. Gabay was at a pre-parade party at the time, officials said.
"We do have some leads we're following. We have recovered a firearm," Conry said. "Based on ballistics evidence we recovered, it appears there are two groups of people shooting back and forth at each other."
Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio, friends and family of Gabay, and a half dozen of Gabay's co-workers from Empire State Development went to the hospital.
Speaking to reporters in Brooklyn before the parade, Cuomo said Gabay had gone for a night out with his family when eight to 10 shots were fired and he was struck by a "random bullet."
"It's so painful, so unnecessary, so sad," Cuomo said.
NYPD officials said the investigation is ongoing but it appeared Gabay was an "unintended target" of the shooting.
At a news conference as the parade was starting, de Blasio lamented that violence marred the pre-parade events. "It's a sad day because just as we were all coming here we learned about this good young man who is now fighting for his life," de Blasio said.
Cuomo said the shooting is "the latest heartbreaking reminder that the crime of gun violence must stop. Enough young, innocent people have died, and it must stop now."
Gabay and his wife are expecting their first child, Cuomo said. Gabay had worked for him for five years, the governor said, adding he is "so beautiful, so giving, so kind."
Cuomo said Gabay grew up in public housing in the Bronx and went on to study at Harvard. According to a state website, Gabay earned bachelor's and law degrees from Harvard.
He lived the "American dream," Cuomo said, and could have worked at any law firm he wanted making much more money. "He worked for the state because he wanted to give back, and he wanted to do the right thing," Cuomo said.
About 90 minutes before Gabay was shot, a man, 24, was stabbed to death and another man, 21, was shot and wounded at Eastern Parkway and Plaza Street East during pre-parade festivities, police said.
The identities were not available for either victim.
An NYPD spokesman said Sunday that special details were assigned to the parade and J'ouvert, the unsanctioned party at dawn that attracts crowds for dancing and paint-throwing.
With William Murphy and Anthony M. DeStefano