NEW YORK–A federal Department of Homeland Security security guard was shot and killed at a federal building in downtown Manhattan Friday afternoon.
According to New York Police Chief James O’Neill, the shooter walked into the federal building around 5:05 p.m., and as he approached the metal detector he pulled out a handgun and shot the security officer at close range.
The suspect then kept walking towards the elevator, at which point he encountered another employee. At that point the suspect shot himself in the head, and was pronounced dead on the scene.
The security guard, who worked with a company that the DHS contracted for security, later died from his injuries.
The security guard has been identified as Idrissa Camara, 53, while the suspect has been identified as Kevin Downing, 68, of Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Downing’s house in Fort Lee, had been secured, according to O’Neill, but it hasn’t yet been searched. He indicated that they were looking into information that Downing was a veteran.
O’Neill also said that the suspect had an intended target, but that it wasn’t Camara. Downing once worked for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a section of the Department of Labor, which had an office in the building, but its unclear when that was or if this was the building he worked in.
Friday night Michael McKeon, a spokesperson for FJC Security Services, released a statement about Camara:
Tonight, for the first time in our 27-year history, FJC Security Services lost a member of our family when senior guard Idrissa Camara was shot at 201 Varrick Street. He later died at Lenox Health Greenwich Village.
Idrissa Camara, 53, of Manhattan, worked for FJC for two years, when we took over the contract at that building. He worked for the prior company and we were pleased he stayed with us during that transition.
Camara, who was armed, was an extraordinary senior guard who was well trained, cared deeply about his job and knew that building better than anyone else. It’s clear from the facts that he never had a chance to defend himself in this instance.
Camara was scheduled to complete his day at 4 p.m., but agreed to stay on for extra duty. That speaks volumes about the person he was.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family. We intend to do everything we can to stand with them during this very difficult time.
As part of our investigation, we have checked our records for any link between the shooter and FJC. Our search found no connection.
Before announcing he had died, it was reported that Camara was in critical condition after being taken to the hospital in cardiac arrest.
Both the New York Police Department and federal officers responded to the corner of Houston and Varick streets for the shooting.