PLAINVIEW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The last words from a shooting victim turned out to be a key piece of a puzzle to solve two murders in two different states.
Justin Gottlieb, 27, was shot sitting in his SUV on Long Island last month, then days later, another driver was killed 40 miles away in New Jersey.READ MORE: NYPD Investigating Pair Of Deadly Shootings In Queens
As CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reports, the two suspects that police say are responsible for both murders say it wasn’t them.
Coudrey and Regan appeared combative as they left Nassau County Police headquarters.
“We innocent. We innocent. We gonna prove that, watch,” Coudrey told reporters.
“I don’t know. Ask them what they got for they evidence. We didn’t do it,” Regan said.
The two men, members of the Latin Kings gang, are charged with murder in connection to the deaths of two area men in two separate incidents.
“The weapon used to kill both people in New Jersey and Plainview is a 9mm handgun,” said Nassau County Police Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick.
Police say the first killing took place on Jan. 14. Gottlieb was driving from work to his home in Plainview when he encountered the suspects in a white four-door sedan.READ MORE: Police: Man Stabbed In Head With Machete After Argument At Walmart In Kearny, N.J.
“Both on video surveillance were driving aggressively,” Fitzpatrick said. “We surmise there might have been some kind of a road rage incident between them.”
Police say Gottlieb and the suspects didn’t know each other, but they chased him home. He pulled over, and someone in the other vehicle started shooting
Police say after Gottlieb was shot in front of his home, he spoke to his parents and gave them information about the males who had shot him and a white Ford Fusion. Police say that information helped lead to arrests in this case.
His family described the new father and fiance as kind, smart and altruistic.
Gottlieb’s family sent CBS2 a statement that read in part, “His energy, his happiness, his personality could light up any room and honestly anyone’s life. He knew how to make good out of every and any situation … Our closeness as a family is the reason this hurts so much, and makes it so hard to move on with this now huge gaping hole in our hearts.”
“Because we had put a hold on that white Ford Fusion, which was a rental car … We coordinated our efforts, and on Jan. 22, these two individuals were arrested in Suffolk County,” Fitzpatrick said.
Police say after the arrest of the pair, a loaded .22 caliber rifle modified to be used as a submachine gun and a sawed-off shotgun were found in the suspect vehicle.
According to police, the men are also facing various other charges in both New Jersey and Suffolk County, Long Island.MORE NEWS: New York Weather: CBS2’s 9/25 Saturday Morning Forecast
A GoFundMe has been set up in Gottlieb’s memory. To donate, click here.