NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A relationship that began online turned violent for a Manhattan school secretary, police said.
For months she was allegedly stalked by her ex-lover, she even had a restraining order against him — but as CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported, it all came to a tragic, fatal end.
As investigators surveyed the gun used to kill 56-year-old Elizabeth Lee-Herman, students and staff across the street at the Grace Church School in Cooper Square were on lockdown.
They had no idea the person shot at the Citi Bike rack was the school secretary — a part of their community for 17 years.
“It was a very difficult morning for the kids, several of them including me, were out here when it happened,” School Head, George Davison said.
After allegedly stalking her for months at her home, her workplace, and even while she was out on other dates, 62-year-old Vincent Verdi stands accused of shooting the divorced mother of two in the stomach on Wednesday. She later died in the hospital.
She broke up with Verdi in July and got a restraining order on Oct. 5, after he was arrested for stalking.
“She was such an angel,” Genevieve McCarthy said. “He would be calling her all the time, and she said, ‘you have to stop calling me,” McCarthy said.
Friends say Elizabeth biked to work every day. It was something she loved to do, and perhaps even more, she loved being a part of the school community.
“She was a great giving and loving person. She did everything in this community you can think of,” Davison said. “It’s a sad thing we all know happens in this society, and as the chaplain said to all the kids this morning, if you’re the one that can help stop relationship abuse then you will have honored Elizabeth Lee.”
Many neighbors in her Upper East Side building said she was a lovely woman often seen with her white shitzu named Pucci.
“It’s horrible to hear something like this, such a lovely girl, there are very sick people out there,” one neighbor said.
The school held a memorial on Wednesday night with hundreds of people. Her children are flying home from college to help plan their mother’s funeral.
Police say after killing Lee-Herman, Verdi shot himself, but survived. He’s was at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue in critical condition late Thursday. The NYPD said charges are pending.
CBS2 reached out to Match.com, but did not hear back.