Democratic Nassau County executive candidate Thomas Suozzi has waded into Tuesday’s deadly workplace shooting in Garden City, chiding his opponent, Republican County Executive Edward Mangano, for his “extreme opposition to gun control legislation.”
But, Mangano’s spokesman Brian Nevin said it was “sickening” for Suozzi to politicize the shooting while one of the victims remained in critical condition.
On Wednesday morning, police said Sang Ho Kim, 63, of Queens, entered the offices of Savenergy Inc. in East Garden City and fatally shot a worker and critically wounded the owner of the energy-efficient lighting company. Kim remains the subject of a massive multiagency manhunt.
On Thursday evening — 30 hours after the shooting — Suozzi, a former two-term county executive, released a statement touting his record on reducing gun violence and claiming that under Mangano, “gun violence is shattering the safe haven of Nassau County.”
“My opponent, Ed Mangano, enjoys the support of the Conservative party and has proudly stated that his administration is ‘in line’ with the principals of the Tea Party, both of which continue to stand in the way and adamantly oppose common sense gun control legislation,” Suozzi said.
Nevin responded that “Nassau County is a much safer place then when Tom Suozzi was in office as Ed Mangano helped reduce crime by 10 percent and taken over 3,000 guns off Nassau streets. It's sickening that Tom Suozzi chose to make a political statement on the deathbed of one of Nassau's residents."
The wounded man has been identified by friends and a law enforcement source as John Choi, of Woodmere, the owner of Savenergy.
Suozzi said he has known Choi for several years and, as an attorney, represented him on issues related to his LED lighting business.
“He is a very warm, smart, religious and entrepreneurial man," Suozzi said of Choi. "He is very family-oriented.”
The man killed in the shooting was identified as Yong Jae Shin, 25, of Whitestone, Queens, by Central Funeral Home of New York in Flushing, which is handling the funeral arrangements.
In his statement, Suozzi advocated for a federal bill that would provide universal background checks for firearms. If elected, Suozzi said he would push for additional steps on the local level to reduce gun violence, particularly in minority communities.
“We must also remember the many victims of gun violence,” Suozzi said. “Over the last two weeks two people were shot down in Hempstead and New Cassel and many other victims, especially in our communities of color, are shot throughout the year.”