NEW YORK (AP) _ The death of an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was caught in the crossfire between two gangs hours before New York City’s West Indian Day parade, should be a call to action to quell gun violence in the city, the governor told mourners Saturday at the slain aide’s funeral.
“We must act up and we must say we’re not going to take it anymore,” Cuomo said during the service for Carey Gabay. “The killing has to stop. The spread of gun violence has to stop and it has to stop now.”
Gabay was shot in the head during a pre-dawn party celebrating the parade Sept. 7. The 43-year-old, who served as first deputy general counsel at the Empire State Development Corp., died Sept. 15 after being placed in a medically induced coma.
“His death was one of the most tragic, pointless examples of the rampant violence that is spreading like a cancer through our society,” Cuomo told mourners. “His death _ no his murder _ showed a disrespect for life so base that it didn’t even care who it struck down. A violence so rampant that it targets at random.”
Gabay was walking with his brother near the parade route in Brooklyn around 3:40 am when he was shot. Cuomo said Gabay “ducked down for cover from shots he never caused, from a shooter he never saw, and never got up.”
The funeral at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn was private, but the governor’s office later provided a transcript and audio of Cuomo’s remarks.
Gabay, a Harvard-educated lawyer who the governor said was “the most innocent of innocent victims,” had joined Cuomo’s administration in 2011. He had worked as an assistant counsel to Cuomo, a Democrat, before taking his new position in January.
No arrests have been made in the case. New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton has said detectives were focusing on two gangs whose members are well known to investigators.
The shooting was one of several outbursts of violence in the neighborhoods surrounding the parade, a colorful celebration of Caribbean culture, music, style and food. In addition to Gabay’s shooting, a man was fatally stabbed and police arrested a suspect in a separate shooting that occurred shortly before Gabay was wounded.