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Mourners Say Goodbye To Man Killed Outside Empire State Building

Sister Delivers Euology At Funeral For Steven Ercolino Held In White Plains
Shooting victim Steve Ercolino. (credit: Facebook)

Shooting victim Steve Ercolino. (credit: Facebook)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Funeral services were held Wednesday for the man shot and killed near the Empire State Building last week.

Mourners gathered for a solemn service at Our Lady of Sorrows in White Plains to honor fashion executive Steven Ercolino.

Family and friends remembered Ercolino as a loving uncle, tireless worker and die-hard New York sports fan.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane: Family And Friends Say It Will Never Be The Same Without Him

Flanked by her two brothers, Ercolino’s sister mustered the strength to deliver an emotional and uplifting eulogy, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.

Maria Rashford thanked everyone for their love and support and acknowledged that life will never be the same without her brother.

“We will live each day honoring his spirit, like he did with a smile, passion and love,” she said.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

Andrea Languerra, who said she knew Ercolino since childhood, called him one of the most generous people in the world.

“Everybody’s suffering right now. This is tragic, it was senseless, and I’m sick over it,” said Languerra. “He was my first boyfriend, my first love. He had the most beautiful smile and sparkly blue eyes that will always remain in my heart.”

Green bracelets, in honor of Ercolino’s favorite sports team the New York Jets, were handed out to those attending the service. One flower arrangement was in orange and blue for the New York Mets.

The bracelets read, “Steven Ercolino: You Will Always Be Remembered.”

The 41-year-old was shot in the head Friday morning outside his workplace, Hazan Imports, on West 33rd Street by a former co-worker who apparently blamed him for being laid off from the clothing company, police said.

“I’m just so sad for this family and this whole situation,” mourner Carol Silva said told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown. “It’s just pathetic that everybody has guns and they just shoot at will.”

Ercolino and the gunman, 58-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, had been in an ongoing dispute prior to the shooting, police said.

The two had each filed complaints with police trading accusations of harassment, but there were no orders of protection between them.

After shooting Ercolino, Johnson put his gun into a bag and walked away, police said.

A construction worker who witnessed the shooting followed Johnson and alerted two officers who were on patrol outside the Empire State Building, police said.

The officers shot and killed Johnson after he pulled the gun from his bag and pointed it at the officers, police said.

Nine bystanders were caught in the crossfire. The NYPD said they were all wounded by fragments or bullets fired by police.

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(credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

Ercolino’s friends and family, including his long-time girlfriend, Ivette Rivera, gathered at the Ballard Durand Funeral Home in White Plains on Monday and Tuesday to mourn his loss before the funeral service.

Ercolino and Rivera were planning to get married.