After a week in which the debate over gun control dominated the political world, two first responders in Western New York were killed in a shooting. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced New York State Police and the State Office of Emergency Management are working with local officials in Webster New York after the shooting, which left two volunteer firefighters dead and two others injured after they were shot while responding to a blaze in the town this morning. In a statement, the governor called the shooting “horrific” and offered his sympathies to the families of those who died and were hurt.
“All of our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of those who were killed in this senseless act of violence,” said Governor Cuomo. “New York’s first responders are true heroes as they time and again selflessly rush toward danger in order to keep our families and communities safe. Volunteer firefighters and police officers were injured and two were taken from us as they once again answered the call of duty. We as the community of New York mourn their loss as now two more families must spend the holidays without their loved ones.”
Clement Gardner, a campaign aide to State Senator Ruben Diaz, was charged today with embezzling $75,000 from a charity founded by the senator. In a press release announcing the indictment, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his office is continuing its investigation into the charity and accused Mr. Gardner of using the Christian Community Benevolent Association, which operated senior centers and children’s services as “a personal piggy bank.”
“Today’s charges demonstrate our vigilance in ensuring that every taxpayer dollar is spent properly, and that corrupt individuals who betray the public trust to line their own pockets will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Mr. Schneiderman said.
Muslims were apparently the targets of a string of firebombs that hit an Islamic cultural center and a Hindu house of worship Queens last night.
This morning, elected leaders in the city and state have been quick to condemn the violence and have pledged a full investigation.
“The four reported attacks on Sunday night go against everything we stand for as New Yorkers and Americans,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Attacks such as this have no place in our open and inclusive society and we must do all we can to ensure New York remains a safe and tolerant place for all. I am thankful that there were no reported injuries. To make sure those who perpetrated these attacks are brought to justice and we prevent future bias crimes, I have asked Superintendent of State Police Joe D’Amico and Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Liz Glazer to provide any assistance that is needed on the investigation.”
A spokeswoman for the Democratic Assembly candidate in Brooklyn emails:
On Friday night, August 5, the Jesus Gonzalez for State Assembly campaign office was the target of an armed robbery. Two computers and a cellular phone were stolen by two men at approximately 9:00 PM. One staff member was in the office at the time.
The campaign appreciates the efforts of the police to identify these men. We are taking this crime seriously, as we do all violent crimes that take place in this community. We must work hard to ensure this is a community in which no one feels unsafe.