By MICHELLE L. PRICE Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — New York congressman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin says his family is safe after two strangers were shot outside his Long Island home on Sunday.
Zeldin said in a statement that he does not know the identities of the two people who were shot but were found under his porch and in the bushes outside his home in Shirley, New York. The congressman and his wife were not home at the time of the shooting, but his teenage daughters were at home and heard gunshots and screams, he said in the statement issued by his office.
Zeldin said her 16-year-old daughters locked themselves in a bathroom and called 911. The family is shocked but doing well, she said. Zeldin and his wife were returning from a parade in the Bronx when the shooting occurred.
He said police officers were at his home investigating Sunday night and were looking at the home’s security cameras. The two people who were shot were taken to local hospitals, she said.
Zeldin planned to hold a news conference outside his home Sunday night to address the shooting.
The Suffolk County Police Department issued a brief statement saying it was investigating the shooting, which appeared to have no connection to Zeldin’s family. Police had no information to release about who fired the shots or who first found the two people shot, a spokeswoman said.
Zeldin, who is running against Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, has made rising crime rates and violent crime the focus of her campaign. He has called for tougher state bail laws, among other measures.
“Like many New Yorkers, crime literally came to our front door,” Zeldin said Sunday.
He said later in a post on Twitter that his daughters were at the kitchen table when the shooting happened and that one of the bullets was found 30 feet away from them.
It’s the second scare he’s had in several months. In July, he was assaulted while campaigning in upstate New York when a man approached him onstage and plunged a sharp object near his head and neck. He was not injured and the man was taken into custody.
Hochul said in a statement posted on Twitter that she had been briefed on the shooting.
“While we await further details, I am relieved to learn that the Zeldin family is safe and grateful for the swift response from law enforcement,” the governor said.
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