NEW YORK (KRON/CNN) — New York’s governor on Tuesday asked how many more instances of gun violence does this country need as he made an impassioned call for national gun control legislation, one day after a top lawyer in his administration was shot and critically wounded.
Carey Gabay was shot in Brooklyn early Monday morning, by what Gov. Andrew Cuomo described as a “seemingly random bullet” that struck him in the head. The 43-year-old lawyer was appointed First Deputy Counsel for Empire State Development in January.
Cuomo told CNN’s “New Day” that Gabay remains in “very, very critical condition” and said he had “nothing good” to report after speaking with Gabay’s family.
Investigators say the shooting happened as revelers had gathered to celebrate the annual West Indian American Day. They say a dispute, possibly between rival gangs, broke out and prompted a shootout. The governor’s office said Gabay was in the crowd when he was caught in the crossfire. He was rushed to Kings County Hospital Center in critical condition.
“How many incidents do we have to have, how many weeks do we have to have with the same story over and over and over about the insanity that this country is allowing to continue with violence and loss of life of innocent people because we have people who have no business having guns, having guns,” Cuomo, a Democrat, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Tuesday.
“This nation has to have the political courage to step up and the elected officials have to have the political courage to step up and say this weekly ongoing tragedy of loss of life of innocent victims, schoolchildren, young girls, young boys must stop,” he added.
While Cuomo touted gun control laws passed in New York during his administration as “probably the most restrictive” nationwide, he asserted that guns flow into New York from other states with more lax gun laws, raising the need for a national gun control policy.
Cuomo, who said he owns a gun, insisted that every person looking to purchase a firearm should undergo background checks to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining a gun.
As he did on Monday, Cuomo lamented the “pure randomness” of the violence that struck Gabay and praised his aide as the very definition of the American dream.
Raised in public housing in Bronx, New York, Gabay graduated Harvard University and joined Cuomo’s administration in 2011, first in Albany and most recently in New York City.
“He could’ve done anything with that education. He chose to be in state service because he wanted to use his skills to help others. He made a fraction of what he could’ve earned. Just a beautiful guy,” Cuomo said Tuesday.
Cuomo on Monday morning told reporters that Gabay was shot as he walked in Brooklyn with his brother.
“I was just with the family and the tears and the frustration. And I’m governor of the state of New York and there’s nothing I can say and there’s nothing I can do and sometimes it just hurts,” Cuomo said.