By Katie Reilly
NEW YORK (Reuters) - An attorney in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration who was critically wounded by a stray bullet in Brooklyn earlier this month has been declared brain dead, his family said in a statement on Wednesday.
Carey Gabay, 43, was struck in the head at a pre-dawn outdoor celebration on Sept. 7 before the annual West Indian Day parade, which has been plagued by violence in recent years. He is believed to have been an unintended target, police said.
He was declared brain dead on Tuesday night, according to his family's statement.
"There are difficult decisions we will face in the coming hours and days as our family struggles to process what this means for us," his family said.
Gabay, the first deputy counsel at Empire State Development, the state's chief economic development agency, was in critical condition this week in an induced coma at Kings County Hospital Center.
"Our family is grieving that a man in the prime of his life who has impacted so many lives could be struck down by such a callous act. Carey embodies the American story," his family said in the statement.
A Harvard-educated lawyer who was raised in public housing in the Bronx by Jamaican immigrant parents, Gabay became an assistant counsel for Cuomo in 2011 after working in finance.
"Today we are all incredibly saddened by the news from Carey Gabay's family. I ask that all New Yorkers please join me in keeping both Carey and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," Cuomo said in a statement on Wednesday.
A surveillance video, released on Friday as police tried to identify suspects, shows two men apparently armed with handguns running into a building in Brooklyn, where the shooting occurred.
Last week, police released a sketch of a suspect who is wanted for questioning in connection with the shooting. The suspect was described as a 19- to 20-year-old black man wearing a white T-shirt, black pants and a Jamaican flag around his neck.
The shooting led Cuomo to call for national gun control policies, saying New York's firearm restrictions are ineffective on their own.
(Reporting by Katie Reilly; Editing by Andrew Hay)