By FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) — The getaway car of a disgruntled vendor wanted in a fatal shooting at a suburban light fixture company was found abandoned in upstate New York, but the suspect is still on the run, authorities said Thursday.
The white SUV in which Sang Ho Kim of Queens is believed to have fled was found at 11 p.m. Wednesday at Sandy Beach Park in Putnam County, about 50 miles north of New York City, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said.
The Putnam County Sheriff's office ordered the Haldane Central School District closed Thursday as a precaution.
Authorities said the 63-year-old suspect walked into a room where the owner and employees of the Long Island light fixture import firm, Savenergy, were standing and opened fired Wednesday morning. The wounded man was identified as John Choi, the chief executive of the company. Nassau University Medical Center spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said he was in the intensive care unit in critical condition.
The name of the person who was killed has not been released.
The shooting led to the lockdown of schools and businesses at Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, about 30 miles east of New York City.
Nassau County police Chief Steven Skrynecki said at a news conference that police believe Kim once served as a vendor to Savenergy.
"There was some disgruntlement between him and the company he was attacking," he said. "We have nothing to suggest that this individual is on a random, shooting rampage."
New Windsor police told The Times Herald-Record of Middletown that state and local police helicopters searched along Routes 9W and 32 in the Newburgh, New Windsor and Cornwall areas for the suspect. The search focused on a cemetery along 9W, among other locations some 55 miles north of New York City. Their search was scaled down Wednesday night.
Skrynecki said about four people were inside the building when the shooting happened. He refused to say what type of weapon was used or whether one was recovered.
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.
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 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."
Associated Press writers Jim Fitzgerald and Verena Dobnik, AP National Writer Martha Mendoza and AP researcher Judith Ausuebel contributed to this report.