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Sunday 22 September 2019

Irish construction worker gunned down by disgruntled fired employee in New York

Christopher Sayers was shot and killed in New York
Christopher Sayers was shot and killed in New York
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Tributes have been paid to a construction worker who was gunned down in New York by a former employee he had fired two days previously.

Christopher Sayers (37) was shot multiple times by Samuel Perry (44), who then turned the gun on himself and took his own life.

His father Paddy Sayers is a native of Marian Park in Dingle, and his late mother, Josie Cavanagh came from Feothanach, west of Dingle.

The shooting happened on the 37th floor of a building they were working on in Manhattan's Midtown last Thursday.

His funeral mass took place on Tuesday at Our Lady of Mercy Church on Long Island and friends and family have described him as a "great guy" who was the life and soul of every party.

"What is this world coming to? My sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Christopher Sayers. He was a great guy. He was the spark every party," one friend said.

"You will be greatly missed, Chris. You will never be forgotten," another said.

Mr Sayers attended Holy Trinity High School and staff also paid tribute to the foreman.

"We are deeply saddened to inform all about the sudden passing of Christopher Sayers ('98). Please keep Christopher and the Sayers family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Once a Titan, Always a Titan....."

Robert Pagan (42), a carpenter, told the New York Times he heard the gunshots but thought it might have been a nail gun. He was heading up to the 37th floor to see what happened when he ran into Mr. Perry on the 33rd floor staircase.

“I just saw the shooter coming downstairs, very calm. I jokingly asked him if he brought a gun to the job because you’re not supposed to be here,” Mr. Pagan said.

The New York Police Department said Perry had been arrested at least three times in the past, including once for robbery.

Muiris Bric, the former president of the Kerrymen's Association in New York, says the Irish community are in shock.

"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."

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