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Long IslandCrime

Wake for Empire State Building shooting victim

Paul Ercolino, 46, reacts while speaking to reporters

Paul Ercolino, 46, reacts while speaking to reporters about his brother, Steven Ercolino, who was shot and killed by gunman Jeffrey Johnson near the Empire State Building. Paul gave the impromptu press conference outside of a retirement community where his parents reside in Warwick. (Aug. 25, 2012) Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

The sales executive killed last week by a disgruntled former colleague in Manhattan is to be mourned this evening at a wake in White Plains, across the Hudson River from his childhood home in Nanuet and less than an hour north of where he was slain.

Visitation hours for Steven Ercolino, 41, are scheduled Monday and Tuesday at Ballard-Durand funeral home, and a memorial Mass is set for Wednesday at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, also in White Plains, Westchester County, his brother Paul confirmed Sunday from their parents' home in Warwick, Orange County.

Steven Ercolino is to be cremated Wednesday.

He was fatally shot Friday on West 33rd Street by Jeffrey Johnson, 58, who was killed in a fusillade of police bullets that also wounded nine bystanders near the Empire State Building. Two of the injured, a 31-year-old woman and 35-year-old man, were recovering Sunday at Bellevue Hospital Medical Center in Manhattan, police said. A third victim, a 56-year-old woman, was being treated at Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, police said.

The shootings shocked busy midtown Manhattan as well as Ercolino's family and friends. It also impacted those who did not know Ercolino.

A Staten Island boy created a Facebook memorial for Ercolino after watching TV news of the shooting. The "RIP Steven Ercolino" page had more than 1,100 "likes" on Sunday, and dozens of Ercolino's friends, co-workers and loved ones swapped memories. Strangers used the page to express condolences to the Ercolino family.

"I saw what happened and I thought how much of a nice guy he seemed like, and thought, 'If this was me in this situation, what would I want done to be remembered?' " the page's creator, Nicholas Robbins, 12, said Sunday by phone.

The seventh-grader at Marsh Avenue School for Expeditionary Learning said he had no inkling the page would help console Ercolino's family and friends. "I thought it was going to be like 20 [likes], not a thousand," Nicholas said.

Paul Ercolino said he appreciated Nicholas' effort and "wanted to go on the page and thank him." He declined further comment Sunday about how his family is coping.

Police said Sunday they were still investigating evidence from Johnson's Upper East Side home, including computer hard drives.

About 9 a.m. Friday, Johnson walked up unannounced and shot Ercolino five times in the head. The shooting was an act of revenge, with Johnson blaming Ercolino after Johnson lost his job as a designer of women's accessories at Hazan Import Corp., police said. The two had been involved in an at-work dispute that included shoving and mutual police reports.

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