Gunshots fired into Heckscher Park in Huntington Monday and intended for a Suffolk County youth worker in a town maintenance cart instead hit the cart and a nearby building, police said Tuesday.
The 22-year-old male employee with a county jobs program was not injured after someone in a vehicle opened fire about 9:30 a.m. Monday at the corner of Main Street and Sabbath Day Path, according to Suffolk police.
Calls to 911 reporting the gunshots led to a lockout at district schools and lockdowns at several town buildings. The additional safety measures were lifted in the early afternoon Monday.
Police released no information Tuesday about a possible suspect, a description of the vehicle or why the worker was targeted.
Suffolk police Insp. William Scrima assured attendees at a Tuesday monthly community meeting at Huntington's Second Precinct that there "shouldn’t be any danger to the public."
Police will pursue a reckless endangerment charge if they arrest a suspect, Scrima said. When asked at the meeting if more serious charges would be considered, Scrima said that "right now the shooting is being handled as reckless endangerment … just about every case where a gun is fired and innocent people could be hurt, regardless of intent … is handled the same way."
The area where the shots were fired is across from Huntington Town Hall and near Old First Presbyterian Church. The park is a popular village gathering spot, with a large fenced-in playground for children in the middle, and home to the Heckscher Museum of Art. It's bordered by the church, residential homes and offices.
The worker had previously been a seasonal employee with Huntington, according to police. Huntington town officials said the man worked with the Suffolk County Department of Labor Out-of-School Youth Work Experience Program.
He was assigned to the town through the department's Minority Affairs Division, which previously placed him with the town as a temporary seasonal employee in summer 2020, officials said.
Officials with the Suffolk Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.