GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) – A disgruntled vendor walked into a suburban light fixture company where he had done business and opened fire Wednesday, killing one employee, wounding another person and leading to the lockdown of a nearby mall, police said.
The gunman fled in a white SUV toward the Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City but didn’t go there, Nassau County police Chief Steven Skrynecki said. Schools and businesses also were locked down in the area, 30 miles east of New York City.
Skrynecki said authorities were hunting for a 63-year-old man named Sang Ho Kim but didn’t think he was on a “random shooting rampage.”
“This seems to be motivated by his association with this business,” he said.
Police said Kim once served as a vendor to the light fixture import firm, Savenergy. It was unclear what sparked the shooting, but the gunman walked into a room where the owner and employees were standing and fired.
The wounded victim was undergoing surgery. No names were released.
Skrynecki said about four people were inside the building at the time. He refused to say what type of weapon was used or whether one was recovered.
Authorities said they had searched nearby buildings and lifted the lockdowns.
“We’re very confident he’s not in this immediate area,” Skrynecki said.
The shooting took place near a perimeter road that leads to the Roosevelt Field mall. The area isn’t far from where Charles Lindberg took off on his historic trans-Atlantic flight to Paris in 1927.
When reports of the shooting surfaced, no customers or workers were allowed to leave the mall and no one was allowed to enter, but customers were able to roam around inside. Some stores, like Bloomingdale’s, closed.
At Dick’s Sporting Goods, supervisor Joe DeVito said police told him no one could leave, a lockdown that lasted about an hour. He said the shoppers didn’t do much during that time but sat around and used their cellphones.
Tony Dorazio, of Nesconset, was working with a construction crew in a vacant store. He said his first news of the shooting came from the wife of a carpenter he was working with.
“She was concerned because she saw on the news that the mall was in lockdown,” he said. “We hadn’t heard that. We didn’t know. Then we heard there was a shooter in the vicinity and a suspect on the loose. But it wasn’t here.”
At nearby Nassau Community College, 18-year-old student Robert Brown said he huddled in a hallway for about two hours after police arrived on campus in search of the gunman.
“We saw Nassau County police running around the campus telling people to go inside,” he said. “It was a crazy feeling. I just ran into the nearest building.”
A call to Savenergy wasn’t returned. The company’s website said it develops energy reduction technology that promises to reduce lighting, air conditioning, heating and electrical costs.
Associated Press writers Jim Fitzgerald and Verena Dobnik and AP researcher Judith Ausuebel contributed to this report.
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