New York congressman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin says his family is safe afteroutside his Long Island home Sunday afternoon.
The boys, both 17, were walking with a third teenager on the street in Shirley, New York, where Zeldin lives, when they were hit by gunfire from a moving car, Suffolk County Police said.
The injured teenagers then tried to hide in Zeldin’s yard, ducking under his porch and into the bushes, while the person who was with them fled.
The congressman and his wife were not home at the time of the shooting, but their teenage daughters were in the kitchen doing homework when they heard gunshots and screams, Zeldin said.
“One of the bullets was actually found 30 feet from where they were sitting,” Zeldin said at a news conference late Sunday.
Police said the injured teenagers’ injuries were not life-threatening. Both were treated at an area hospital. Authorities did not release their names, but said the teenagers are from the nearby towns of Mastic and Mastic Beach.
“At this time, investigators have no reason to believe there is any connection between the shooting and the residence,” the Suffolk County Police Department said in a statement.
Zeldin said he did not know the identities of the two people who were shot. He said his 16-year-old daughters locked themselves in a bathroom and called 911. The family is shaken, but okay, he said in a statement posted on Twitter. Zeldin and his wife were returning from a parade in the Bronx when the shooting occurred.
He said police officers were at his home investigating Sunday night, looking over the home’s security cameras.
Police had no information to release about who fired the shots, a department spokeswoman said.
Zeldin, who is running against Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, has made violent crime a focus of her campaign. He has called for the state’s bail legislation to be tightened, among other things.
“Like so many New Yorkers, crime has literally found its way to our front door,” Zeldin said Sunday.
It’s the second scare Zeldin has had in months. In July he wasin upstate New York when a man approached him on stage and thrust a sharp object near his head and neck. He was unharmed and that .
Hochul said in a released statement on Twitter that she had been briefed on the shooting.
“While we await more details, I am relieved to hear that the Zeldin family is safe and grateful for the swift response of the police,” the governor said.