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Reward increased in fatal shooting of Carey Gabay, lawyer in Cuomo administration, officials say

Carey Gabay, pictured on Dec. 12, 2011, was

Carey Gabay, pictured on Dec. 12, 2011, was shot in the head before the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn on Sept. 7, 2015. Credit: Governor's Office

The reward for information in the Labor Day shooting of a lawyer in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's administration climbed from $12,500 to $22,500 Wednesday following his death late Wednesday night, officials said.

The reward hike came as the NYPD intensified its hunt for Carey Gabay's killer.

An errant gunshot hit Gabay in the head on Sept. 7 as he watched predawn festivities in Brooklyn for the West Indian Day parade. Investigators held out hope Wednesday that federal prosecutors will get involved in the case.

Gabay, 43, was in front of 1680 Bedford Ave. by the Ebbets Field Houses with family members when multiple gunshots rang out, police said. He was caught in the crossfire between gangs as he tried to take cover in a parking area, police said.

He died at Kings County Hospital Center after spending nearly nine days on life support.

Earlier in the week, NYPD officials told Newsday that investigators were using facial recognition software in hope of identifying suspects captured on video holding guns or shooting.

Investigators have examined more than 300 videos since the shooting and forensic experts were going over 27 mostly 9-millimeter shell casings found at the scene. Police have released video of at least one person of interest in the case. Detectives don't yet have a gun to match to any of the shell casings. One weapon, a MAC-10 machine pistol without a magazine, was found in a planter near the crime scene but tests showed it had not been fired and may have been secreted there by a gang for later use, said a high-ranking law enforcement official. "It is tough," said the official when asked about the investigation.

Brooklyn prosecutors are expected to bring the case to a grand jury soon because of the intense public interest, notably that of Cuomo and other government representatives, said the official, who did not want to be identified.

Gabay, a Harvard-educated lawyer who grew up in public housing in the Bronx, worked as first deputy counsel for the Empire State Development Corp., the state's chief economic development agency.

A high-ranking NYPD official said one trump card cops have is a possible takeover of the case by Brooklyn federal prosecutors under the tougher "Trigger Lock" gun prosecution program that can lead to severe sentences, especially in gang cases.

Anyone prosecuted under Trigger Lock in the Gabay killing might feel the pressure of a potential long prison term and decide to cooperate against those responsible for pulling the trigger, the official said.

"The case is under investigation," said a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

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