A Queens man will serve 11 years in prison for a shopping mall shooting that wounded a worker and “terrorized” holiday shoppers, the Nassau County district attorney said.
Nassau Supreme Court Justice William Donnino sentenced Oliver Lee, 22, on Thursday following his June guilty plea to three charges of second-degree assault and a first-degree robbery charge in connection with the December 2015 shooting at Roosevelt Field Mall.
Lee’s sentence also includes five years of post-release supervision, the DA’s office said. Prosecutors had recommended a 20-year prison sentence.
“An innocent 69-year-old mall employee was shot and holiday shoppers were terrorized when this defendant’s gun fired following his attempted theft of a Rolex,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. “Thanks to the bravery of a retired NYPD Sergeant, he was apprehended, and now he will pay for his crime behind bars.”
Lee pulled out a semi-automatic handgun in Roosevelt Field’s Torneau Jewelry Store on Dec. 22, 2015 as he tried to steal an $18,000 Rolex Yacht-Master watch, the DA’s office said.
A security guard at the store, retired NYPD Sgt. Kenneth Krug, tried to wrangle Lee, but the gun went off and hit a 69-year-old mall employee in the neck, the DA’s office said.
Two other security guards helped detain Lee in another store, and Nassau County police eventually arrested him, the DA’s office said.
The shooting at the busy Garden City shopping center just three days before Christmas caused panic and a stampede, though the mall was never fully evacuated or closed, according to news reports from the time.
The mall employee has recovered from his injuries despite having a bullet lodged in his neck, the DA’s office said.
A fight at Roosevelt Field Mall caused a similar scare a year later, though no one was shot, the Long Island Press reported.
Lee’s attorney, Bruce Barket, did not respond to a request for comment.