Ex-funeral home worker kills current employee in Rockland County, gets shot by civilian: Police

HAVERSTRAW, Rockland County (WABC) -- A former worker of a Rockland County funeral home killed a current employee in the parking lot Thursday and was subsequently shot by a civilian at the scene, according to police.

It happened around 6:30 p.m. at TJ McGowan's Funeral Home on Broadway in Haverstraw.

Police say officers responded to a report of shots fired and then encountered a man in the rear parking lot who was in possession of a handgun and ignored numerous commands to drop the weapon.

"I heard what sounded like three gun shots," neighbor Penelope Martinez said. "And then when I came downstairs from my room, I looked outside the window. There were cops outside."

Martinez said she had seen some of what happened from an apartment window.

"They were yelling at a man named Jerry to put down the gun," she said. "And they said it about three times, and they said 'I don't want to shoot you. Put down the gun.' And then everything went silent."

Officers deployed a Taser and were able to take the subject into custody.

The investigation revealed that the man was a former employee who had confronted the victim and allegedly shot him numerous times.

Authorities say the good Samaritan observed what had occurred and fired his own handgun at the man, striking him once in the shoulder.

The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene, while the alleged gunman was transported to the Westchester Medical Center for treatment.

Resident Maritza Cordero says the funeral home has been in Haverstraw for 130 years and that the staff is well-known to area residents.

"They try to help people that there in an economy where they don't even have money for a funeral," Cordero said. "They try to help them out. They used to give them discounts. They were very polite. Their service is the best they have."

So far, police have not released the identity of anyone involved.

The investigation is continuing.

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