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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Irish builder shot dead in New York by man he fired two days earlier

“Words can’t describe what a man you were. Kindest most generous person I ever knew”.

A CONSTRUCTION WORKER with Irish parents who was shot dead on a New York building site by a man who he had fired just two days earlier has been laid to rest.

Christopher Sayers, 37, was shot multiple times on the 32nd floor of a building site in Manhattan’s Midtown by 44-year-old Samuel Perry. Perry then turned the gun on himself.

The New York Police Department’s Deputy Chief Philip Rivera told local media that the police department went into its active shooter protocol after the shooting was reported.

The department’s Emergency Services Unit, Critical Response Command and Strategic Response units all attended the scene.

The building was evacuated as police units streamed in. Officers were also stationed all around the building with guns drawn.

Police said Perry had been let go by Christopher, who was a foreman on the site, two days beforehand and they’re investigating how Perry was able to get back into the building, NBC New York reports.

Christopher was from Long Island and both of his parents were from Co Kerry.

His father, Paddy Sayers, is a Dingle native while his mother was from Feothanach.

Muiris Bric, the former President of The Kerrymen’s Association in New York, told Radio Kerry: “All the people that I have spoken to are shocked and it’s kind of unbelievable. They really can’t seem to get around it.

A lot of Irish just can’t believe that it happened because it never happens, things like that very rarely if ever happen. They’re shocked, really shocked.

Sayers’ colleagues in the local carpentry union also paid tribute to their former colleague.

“Words can’t describe what a man you were. Kindest most generous person I ever knew,” Robert Warrington said.

Always put others before himself. Thank you for everything my brother. I know you will be watching over me as you always have.

Local 212 New York City District Council of Carpenters expressed its condolences in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our dear brother, Christopher Sayers – a great carpenter, union brother and friend.”

Perry was arrested three times, the New York Daily News reports. The most recent arrest was for a robbery in 1995. The newspaper added that his wife also died by suicide in 2015.

Christopher’s funeral took place on Tuesday at Our Lady of Mercy church in Hicksville, New York. He was buried in St Charles cemetery.

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Ceimin Burke

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