Shots fired at man in Heckscher Park maintenance cart, cops say


Gunfire on Monday in Huntington missed the intended target – a man in a town-owned maintenance cart in Heckscher Park – but led to lockdowns at schools in the district and lockdowns at several town buildings, police said.

There were no injuries or reported arrests and the lockdown of schools and the city was lifted in the early afternoon.

Detectives from the Suffolk County Police Department’s Second Team said they were investigating the shots, which were fired from a vehicle near the park around 9:30 a.m. The vehicle fled, police said.

A police spokeswoman said a 22-year-old man was in the cart in the park at the time but was not hit by the gunfire.

“Detectives believe the shooting was targeted and not a random incident,” the spokeswoman said.

In an email, Huntington Town spokeswoman Lauren Lembo said: “Based on information provided to us by the police department, the target was not a town employee. The police department asked us to refer all inquiries about this to their public information office.

Suffolk Police said the man’s employer was not immediately clear.

Huntington Town board member Gene Cook said many questions remain. The park is a popular village gathering place, with a large fenced-in area for children in the middle, and is home to the Heckscher Art Museum. It is bordered by a church, residential houses and offices.

“The police are still investigating and once that is done we will see what we can do and what really happened,” Cook said. “But at the moment it seems everyone is safe, no one has been hurt. I don’t know if this was an assault on someone’s life or if it was fair. someone who was angry and pulled a golf cart. “

School district superintendent Jim Polansky sent a recorded message to parents on Monday morning urging parents and students not to come to school.

“Police are currently pursuing,” Polansky said. “As a precaution, all schools in Huntington will be locked out, meaning there will be no entry or exit to schools until the SCPD clears it. not show up at schools. Further information will be shared upon receipt. “

The district lifted the lockout around noon. Minutes later, blockades were lifted at Huntington Town Hall, Village Green and the Park Avenue Seniors Center.

Earlier, a spokeswoman for Huntington’s supervisor, Chad Lupinacci, said in an email that the buildings had been temporarily closed out of “excess of caution.”

“City employees are still working and city services are still accessible online and by phone,” the spokesperson said. “Our Public Safety Department is on hand to keep the area clear for the Suffolk County Police Department to investigate.”

Huntington Town Clerk Andrew Raia said he was on his way to Town Hall when he received an email at 9:55 a.m. stating that “Town Hall and the People‘s Center old people were locked … at the moment, it seems that no one has been hurt. “

With John Asbury

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