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Shooting Outside Republican Candidate Zeldin’s House Leaves Two Hospitalized

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Tragedy has struck the home of Lee Zeldin, the New York candidate for governor against Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul, as a shooting has occurred outside of his home.

Zeldin said his two teenage twins were inside the house, with one of the bullets landing dangerously close to where they were, Fox News reported.

“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,” the candidate said.

“After my daughters heard the gunshots and the screaming, they ran upstairs, locked themselves in the bathroom and immediately called 911. They acted very swiftly and smartly every step of the way and Diana and I are extremely proud of them,” the candidate said.

He said his daughters are fine, though they are shaken, and that the two injured parties were taken to a local hospital.

“My understanding is that they have been transported to area hospitals. I do not know their identities,” he said. “Law enforcement is currently at our house. My entire family is at home working with the investigators and providing the security footage from our home cameras.”

“Like so many New Yorkers, crime has literally made its way to our front door. My family is grateful to all who have reached out and we will provide another update when we can,” he said.

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The Suffolk County Police Department also said that the incident is “unrelated to the residents of the house.”

Throughout Zeldin’s campaign, he has hit Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul on the issue of crime.

“She’s been pandering to pro-criminal allies and she’s been on the wrong side of these issues one after the other,” Zeldin told Harris Faulkner. “Kathy Hochul can’t confront this head-on because she hasn’t actually been doing anything about it.”

During a July campaign stop in Perinton, New York, Zeldin was attacked by an individual who allegedly pulled out a sharp object. 

Zeldin, who is also the Republican candidate for governor in the state, was speaking at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Perinton, New York. He will face off against New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul.

A witness said Zeldin was speaking about criminal justice and bail reform when the alleged attacker jumped on stage and started yelling.

A group of men jumped on the stage and helped subdue the man before he was taken away. Zeldin was reportedly unharmed and finished his speech after the suspect was taken away.

The suspect, identified as David G. Jakubonis, was charged with attempted assault in the second degree — which is a felony — and released from custody within hours of his arrest, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said.

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The sheriff’s department said the man was released on his own recognizance.

Zeldin predicted the alleged attacker would be released.

“His words as he tried to stab me a few hours ago were ‘you’re done,’ but several attendees, including @EspositoforNY, quickly jumped into action & tackled the guy,” he tweeted early Friday. “Law enforcement was on the scene within minutes. The attacker will likely be instantly released under NY’s laws.”

Jakubonis was tackled by AMVETS national Director Joe Chenelly, according to witnesses.

“His right hand came up, I assume out of his pocket, and he had a blade on his hand,” Chenelly told Fox News Digital. “His fingers were like two finger holes in the blade and lunged at the congressman. And Congressman Zeldin blocked the first lunge. And then as he tried to lunge again, I grabbed him from behind and tackled him down to the ground and held him on the ground.”

Chenelly said he vows to get the man in custody the help he needs.

“When he said he served in Iraq, I got down hands on my knees and said, ‘You know, we’re going to get through whatever you’ve done here tonight,’ and told him, ‘You’re going to get better and focus on that,’ and said, ‘You can contact me after this thing is done,” Chenelly said. “I was told not the engage with him right now. I think it’s very important we obviously have a mental health crisis nationwide— not just with our veterans but we especially have it with our veterans.”

Zeldin released a statement after the attack that said: “Thank you to everyone who reached out following tonight’s attack in Fairport. Someone tried to stab me on stage during this evening’s rally, but fortunately, I was able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him. I’m ok, and @EspositoforNY, and all other attendees are safe. The attacker is in custody. Grateful for the attendees who stepped up quickly to assist and the law enforcement officers who quickly responded. I’m as resolute as ever to do my part to make NY safe again.”

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