A Long Beach man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday after shooting his neighbor in the face and killing him during an argument back in March 2010.
Casey Fitzgerald, 21, was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree last December.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said that at approximately 3:30 p.m. on March 22, 2010, Fitzgerald and his neighbor, Ernest Cummings Jr., 48, got into an argument in front of Fitzgerald’s East Hudson Street home. After the argument, both men returned to their homes. Cummings came out of his home a few minutes later to find Fitzgerald waiting for him.
Fitzgerald fired three shots from a revolver, hitting Cummings once in the face, between his left eye and nose, Rice said. Cummings was pronounced dead at South Nassau Communities Hospital shortly thereafter. Fitzgerald, who claimed that he was acting in self-defense, was acquitted of murder in the second degree.
"Mr. Fitzgerald could have stayed in his home after the argument and the conflict could have ended there," Rice said. "Instead, he grabbed his gun and chose to violently and irrevocably damage not only the victim's family, but his own. It's a choice that Mr. Fitzgerald will have the next 30 years locked in a prison cell to think about."
After the shooting, Fitzgerald fled Long Beach and was arrested in Virginia on April 16, 2010, and charged with the second-degree murder. Long Beach police said this was the first shooting homicide in the city since 1997.