A shooting leaving two injured unfolded Sunday evening outside the Long Island residence of New York gubernatorial hopeful Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) while the politician’s twin daughters were at home.
Zeldin, who’s vying to become the first New York Republican to win a statewide election in two decades, said the incident has only strengthened his resolve to overtake incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) in November.
“My 16-year-old daughters, Mikayla and Arianna, were at our house doing homework, while my wife, Diana, and I were in the car, having just departed the Bronx Columbus Day Parade in Morris Park,” Zeldin explained on Sunday, according to Fox News.
Authorities said the shooting was unrelated to the campaign or the Zeldin family.
“After my daughters heard the gunshots and the screaming, they ran upstairs, locked themselves in the bathroom and immediately called 911,” the Republican said. “They acted very swiftly and smartly every step of the way and Diana and I are extremely proud of them.”
The two males who were shot were transported to area hospitals, Zeldin said. “Law enforcement is currently at our house,” the congressman added. “My entire family is at home working with the investigators and providing the security footage from our home cameras.”
The shooting “hits really close to home when it shows up on your front doorstep,” Zeldin said. “I’m just so grateful that my daughters responded as quickly, as swiftly as they did.”
“We cannot surrender any street anywhere in the state of New York to criminals,” the gubernatorial hopeful asserted. “I want to see our law enforcement in charge of all of New York’s streets.”
“I don’t care if you’re in a big city, a small city, a big town, a small town,” he said. “I want law-abiding New Yorkers to be able to go ride a subway car and not have to hug a pole or grab a guardrail, being afraid of being pushed in front of an oncoming subway car. Or having to take off your yarmulke because you’re Jewish and others who, you know, others are being attacked because they’re Jewish.”
“I just don’t want to ever stand in front of a crime scene tape outside my own home or outside of anyone else’s,” Zeldin added.
When a reporter criticized Zeldin for talking “politics” in the wake of the shooting, the Republican responded, “I mean, at what point are we supposed to talk about the crime on our own streets? I’m standing in front of crime scene tape in front of my own house. You can’t get me more outraged than right now. But for us, we’re more pissed off today than we were when we woke up this morning.”
Notably, Zeldin was attacked during a campaign event in July, The Daily Wire reported. As the Republican talked about bail reform, an armed man jumped on stage and started yelling before he was wrestled with and pulled out a blade. Zeldin was not hurt.
Related: Republican Congressman And NY Gubernatorial Candidate Lee Zeldin Attacked At Campaign Event