1 dead, 1 wounded in Garden City shooting near mall

September 26, 2013 9:05:17 AM PDT
Police on Long Island are searching for a gunman after a shooting left 1 dead and 1 injured at a business near the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City.

Investigators continued searching for an explanation to the deadly workplace shooting as the manhunt widened beyond Long Island for 64-year-old Sang Ho Kim, who by now, police say, could be anywhere.

"This is an individual who shot two people, he murdered one, and he is considered armed and dangerous and he's still on the loose," said Det. Vinny Garcia, Nassau County Police Department.

The drama unfolded just after the workday began in a light industrial area near the Roosevelt Field Mall.

Police say Kim walked into a light bulb importing business called Save Energy, took out a gun, and opened fire.

He critically wounded the company's CEO John Choi and killed another man. The victim's name has still not been released.

"We have nothing to suggest this individual is on a random shooting rampage. This seems to be motivated by his relationship with this business and with the people that he has attacked," Garcia said.

Kim was last seen driving away in a white Honda Pilot with the New York license plate, FMA-3648.

Hoping he hadn't gone far, police locked down the area and blocked access to or from the nation's 10th biggest shopping mall.

And 15 miles away in Fresh Meadows, Queens, the NYPD descended on Kim's apartment building, but he wasn't there either.

Back in Garden City, Burt Grant was counting his blessings that he wasn't at Save Energy when the gunman burst in.

"My office called me and they were in a panic," Grant said.

He'd been scheduled to meet with the CEO, less than two hours later.

"They knew I was having a meeting at Save Energy, called in a panic, 'Where are you, are you there yet?'" Grant said.

Businessman John Choi is well known to many municipal leaders throughout Long Island.

He's also very active in the Korean community.

Choi, who's from Woodmere, started Save Energy in 2002.

It's a company that specializes in energy reduction technology.

His wife also works there.

A man who is a long time business associate of Choi's asked Eyewitness News not to put his face on camera because he's fearful of the suspect still on the loose.

But, he says he was shocked when he heard what happened to his friend.

"He's a good guy, he somehow knows everybody and everybody likes him, he's a likeable guy and I can't understand what happened," the business associate said.

While police try to figure that out, Choi is struggling to hang on.

He's in critical condition at Nassau University Medical Center.

"It's a very unfortunate event hopefully he'll be OK," the business associate said.

The suspect, Sang Ho Kim, 64, is described as a 6'2" Asian male, wearing a red shirt, grey or brown suit jacket and driving a white Honda Pilot. He is considered to be armed and dangerous.

Earlier Wednesday, the Roosevelt Field Mall and nearby schools were all put on lockdown or lock out mode but those were all lifted after 2 p.m.

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