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Cuomo Staffer Critically Hurt In Brooklyn Shooting Hours Before West Indian Day Parade

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A staffer for Gov. Andrew Cuomo is fighting for his life after violence broke out in the run-up to the 48th annual West Indian Day Parade.

Carey Gabay, 43, who joined the governor's administration in 2011, was shot by a stray bullet on Bedford Avenue near Montgomery Street around 3:30 a.m. Monday, Cuomo said.

The Harvard-educated lawyer is first deputy general counsel at Empire State Development.

Cuomo Staffer Struck By Stray Bullet

"Carey is a friend to all who have the pleasure of meeting him," Cuomo said. "I ask that New Yorkers join us by keeping him, his wife, Trenelle, and his family in their prayers at this time."

Gabay was walking with his brother when a fight between two groups broke out on the street. Shots were fired, Gabay was hit in the head, and he was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he was in critical condition, CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported.

A coworker of Gabay's who did not want to be identified told WCBS 880 that Gabay had surgery and appears to not be on a ventilator. The coworker said doctors hope to do a CT scan Tuesday morning to find out more about his condition.

"We have recovered a firearm," said Patrick Conry, chief of Brooklyn detectives. "Based on ballistics evidence recovered, it appears there were two groups of people shooting back and forth at each other."'

Cuomo Staffer Critically Hurt In Brooklyn Shooting

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, the gun recovered was a MAC-10 machine pistol.

Police say at least 16 shots were fired. The recovered shell casings were all 9 mm. Investigators say one gunman was shooting from the street, a second fired from the patio of the Ebbets Field Apartments, and Gabay got caught in the crossfire.

"It is an instance and a moment that really brings home the pain and the pointlessness of this violence. ... The violence has to stop," Cuomo said. "This was a beautiful man, a sweet man."

The NYPD said Gabay was walking with his brother along Bedford Ave between Sullivan and Montgomorey Streets when suspected gang members started spraying gunfire.

Investigators said one gunman was shooting from the street and a second fired from the Ebbets Field patio. Gabay was caught in the crossfire as he dove under a car for safety.

Cuomo visited Gabay in the hospital and said the shooting is personal to him.

"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," Cuomo said. "And sometimes it just hurts."

Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke out against the senseless act of violence.

"Our hearts are very heavy right now," de Blasio said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young aide to the governor, this young man who has devoted himself to public service. ... It is another reminder of a bigger fight we are engaged in every day, which is to get guns off our streets."

Cuomo Staffer Critically Injured In Brooklyn Shooting

Police said they have leads in the case, but no arrests have been made.

There were at least three other violent crimes near the West Indian Day Parade festivities.

Investigators say a man is in serious condition after being stabbed in the torso on Lincoln Place and Rochester Avenue in Crown Heights.

Cuomo Staffer Critically Hurt In Brooklyn Shooting Hours Before West Indian Day Parade

Overnight, just around the corner from the parade route, one person was stabbed to death and another was injured near where people gathered to celebrate.

Revelers hoped the incidents would not overshadow the parade.

"This is something that's supposed to be fun, not violent," a woman named Paulina told 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck. "Hopefully, people could just relax and it won't happen again."

"Hopefully, it stops 'cause it's crazy. It doesn't need to be that," another woman, named Destiny, said. "It's fun, it's entertaining, it's something to do to bring people together, not separate people."

As many as 2 million people were expected to line the sides of Eastern Parkway for the parade. The colorful event celebrated Caribbean cultures and featured elaborate costumes, loud music and scores of dancers.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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