Suffolk County police are investigating a drive-by shooting that left two teenagers injured Sunday afternoon in front of Rep. Lee Zeldin’s home in Shirley.
Police said Sunday night there was no connection between the shooting and the residence on Saint George Drive West, a reference to Mr. Zeldin’s home.
The Republican gubernatorial candidate who has represented the 1st Congressional District since 2015 was not at home at the time shooting around 2:19 p.m., but said in a statement that his 16-year-old daughters Mikayla and Arianna were home and heard gunshots.
“After my daughters heard the gunshots and the screaming, they ran upstairs, locked themselves in the bathroom and immediately called 911,” Mr. Zeldin said in the statement. “They acted very swiftly and smartly every step of the way and Diana and I are extremely proud of them.”
Mr. Zeldin had left the home earlier with his wife to attend the Bronx Columbus Day Parade.
Police said three teenagers were walking on the street when a dark-colored vehicle drove past and a passenger fired multiple gunshots through the window. Two 17-year-old boys from Mastic and Mastic Beach were struck and attempted to hide in the yard of a residence on the street. Their injuries were not life threatening. The third teen fled on foot.
“The two individuals who were shot were laying down under my front porch and the bushes in front of our porch,” Mr. Zeldin said. “My understanding is that they have been transported to area hospitals. I do not know their identities.”
He said his daughters were “shaken, but OK.”
Police are asking anyone with information to call Seventh Squad detectives at 631-852-8752 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
Mr. Zeldin has seized on crime as a primary issue, particularly in the New York City region, during his attempt to win the governor’s race against Democrat Kathy Hochul. “Securing our streets” is the first issue listed on his campaign site and repealing bail reforms has been his top priority. The congressman has been a fierce supporter of gun rights and has opposed legislation aimed at curbing gun violence. He criticized legislation the state passed earlier this year aimed at making it harder for people to carry concealed weapons as “anti-2A” and saying it would make New York “less safe.” A federal judge in Syracuse struck down key parts of that act last week.
“The threat isn’t the law-abiding New Yorker who wants to safely and securely carry a firearm solely for self-defense. Go after the criminals instead!” the congressman said on Twitter in July.
At an upstate campaign event this summer, Mr. Zeldin was confronted on stage by a veteran who later told investigators he thought the congressman, who he said he did not know to be a politician, was disrespecting veterans as he spoke from a flatbed trailer outside the VFW in Perintown. David Jakubonis has pleaded not guilty on a single count of assaulting a member of Congress with a dangerous weapon in that case.