COLD SPRING, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Police in Putnam County continued their search Friday for the suspect wanted in a workplace shooting on Long Island that left one person dead and another critically injured.
Dozens of police officers, including state and federal authorities, scoured the woods in Cold Spring in an intense manhunt for 63-year-old Sang Ho Kim.
Residents of the picturesque Hudson River village said they were not used to seeing so many police officers.
“You know it’s surprising. You come out with the trash and see a man holding a gun,” Kimberly Hunter told CBS 2′s John Slattery.
Authorities said Kim’s white Honda SUV was found abandoned Wednesday night at nearby Sandy Beach Park and believe Kim fled on foot into the woods.
“The suspect had a connection to the Hudson Valley, perhaps as long as 20 years ago, perhaps to this area, when this suspect vacationed in the area,” Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith said. ”We believe the suspect knew this area and didn’t come here by accident.”
Police are working under the assumption that Kim is armed and at large, but authorities said they are considering all possibilities, including that he may have killed himself or fled the region.
The suspect’s sister reportedly received a message from Kim shortly before the shooting that suggested that he may take his own life.
“There are thousands of acres that we’re in the process of searching methodically. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a period of time,” said Maj. Mike Kopy of the New York State Police. “We’re prepared to go a number of days if not longer to find this individual.”
As the manhunt for the accused killer continued schools were open, but with limited access.
“Obviously, it’s an unusual circumstance. One we’ll never see in a another 50 years,” Haldane School District Superintendent Mark Villanti said.
Kim walked into Savenergy on Wednesday morning, a lighting-fixture importing company in East Garden City, and opened fire on the company’s chief executive officer and an employee, police said.
On Friday afternoon, the Nassau County police identified the victim who was killed as Zachariah Yong Jae Shin, 25, of Whitestone, Queens.
The CEO, John Choi, was in the intensive care unit at Nassau University Medical Center in critical condition.
Nassau County Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said Kim once worked as a vendor for the company and said the motive “appears to be a work-related.”
Choi’s wife told CBS 2 that Kim believed the company owed him money, but she said it did not.
After the shooting, police said Kim took off in the SUV. He was last seen wearing a red shirt with a gray or brown suit jacket, police said.
On Thursday afternoon authorities announced that they were scaling back their search of the Hudson Highlands State Park.
“So far we have not found Mr. Kim as of this time,” Sheriff Smith said.
Investigators said they do not believe there is an imminent threat to the community, but urged people to take precautions.
“We’re asking everyone to lock their doors, secure your vehicles and if you see anything suspicious or unusual, report it,” Smith said.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department has asked anyone with information to call 845-808-4350.
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