An employee at a Home Depot in Chelsea shot and killed a supervisor and then turned the gun on himself inside the bustling store Sunday afternoon, cops said.
The 31-year-old employee shot the 38-year-old supervisor three times around 2:40 p.m. and then shot himself in the face.
A police source identified the shooter as Calvin Esdaile, Jr., who was found dead at the scene with one gun shot wound. The other man was taken to Bellevue Hospital with three gun shot wounds and later pronounced dead.
“Unfortunately both persons are deceased,” Det. Steven Wren said at a press conference outside the Home Depot shortly after the shooting.
Police said that the two men had a conversation in the store before the shooting.
Some witnesses said the shooting happened in the lighting aisle of the store on W. 23rd St., near Sixth Ave.
“It sounded like a big refrigerator had fallen over,” said Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and a shopper at the store on Sunday. “A woman started screaming at the top of her lungs, howling. And then everybody, it was like the running of the bulls, everybody just took off.”
Esdaile’s father, Calvin Esdaile, Sr., 52, said that his son had arrived in the United States from Jamaica in 2006 and lived in Brooklyn. He had a six-year-old son, Esdaile Sr. said.
“If it’s him, I’m sorry about this thing and I’m sorry someone has to die by his hand,” the distraught 52-year-old said. “It’s a shock to me. I don’t know of him having a violent history.”
Esdaile Sr. said he visited with his son two weeks ago.
“He was sitting on this couch with his son,” he said. “He was drinking a beer. He was smiling…He liked his job. He was always telling me, ‘I’m going to work.’”
But other witnesses told the Daily News that the shooter was looking for revenge against the supervisor.
“What I heard was that a guy was fired and that he came back to the store,” said Orlando Straughter, 48, from East Harlem.
A photo posted by @maddiemischief on Jan 25, 2015 at 11:53am PST
Shoppers described the chaotic scene at the packed Home Depot in the moments after the shooting, as many did not know if there was still a gunman on the prowl.
“There was this sheer panic. People on the floor crying and praying, it was this pure panic. People were on the floor and hiding under desks,” Pelosi said.
Howard Mash, 65, shopping for light bulbs in the store, said he was separated from his wife after the shooting, and ended up hiding in a storage closet with six other people.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “To have someone come in and shoot up a store…It scares me. It really scares me.”
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