Garden City shooting suspect remains at large

September 26, 2013 8:32:42 PM PDT
Investigators found the getaway car of a disgruntled vendor, wanted in a deadly shooting at a a light fixture company, abandoned in upstate New York, but the suspect remains at large.

The white Honda Pilot with New York license plate FMA-3648 was found near in Philipstown, Putnam County, at 11:00 p.m.

The vehicle was found in Sandy Beach Park, off Route 9D, by a Putnam County Sheriff's officer.

The suspect, 64-year-old Sang Ho Kim, was not there, and authorities are now searching the surrounding wooded area for him.

"This looks like the most credible evidence we have that he is in that area," Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said. "Given the time it takes to get there, the fact that the car is there, we believe he is in that area. But we are still on the watch here."

Mangano would not reveal whether a weapon was recovered, nor would he comment on reports that the suspect's sister told law enforcement that he left her a suicide message. But he did say the investigation continues to indicate the suspect is a disgruntled vendor in a dispute over a business transaction.

"We are looking at all scenarios. There is a scenario where the individual could have taken his life. But we don't feel the area is safe until we actually find this alleged perpetrator. We are looking at all scenarios," said Sheriff Donald Smith, Putnam County.

The terrain is so rough in the woods that some places are not accessible by ATV, forcing officers onto foot. So searchers are rather tired and are getting switched out. Smith noted that there were more than 100 investigators taking part in the search.

  • RAW VIDEO: Search for the Garden City gunman

    The shooting left one dead and one injured at the Save Energy business and set off a frenzy as authorities locked down the entire area, including the mall and several schools.

    The 6-foot-2 Kim, last seen wearing a red shirt with a gray or brown suit jacket, is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

    "This is an individual who shot two people," Nassau Detective Vinny Garcia said. "He murdered one, and he is considered armed and dangerous, and he's still on the loose. The police department will continue to investigate this and search for this individual until he is caught."

    Authorities say Kim confronted his former business associates and targeted his victims before he was able to escape.

    One of the victims has been identified as John Choi, who founded Save Energy and reportedly clinging to life in criticial condition at Nassau University Medical Center. The identity of the fatality has not been released.

    Choi is a well-known member of the Korean business community.

    "He's a good guy," said a business associate who asked not to be identified. "He somehow knows everybody and everybody likes him. He's a likeable guy, and I can't understand what happened."

    Choi's daughter says he is doing much better. She says he's awake and talking. He is said to be aware of what happened. and that one of his employees was shot and killed.

    Family says shot at close range, in the forehead and the bullet somehow miraculously traveled around to his throat.

    Detectives request anyone with information regarding this crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.