The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

August 28, 2012

Murder hits home for SUCO

Denise Richardson, Staff Writer
The Daily Star

The Daily Star — ONEONTA — The shooting death of a 1992 SUNY Oneonta graduate was a sad and horrible incident, several current students said Monday.

Steven Ercolino, 41, who earned a degree in business economics at the State University College at Oneonta, worked for Hazan Import Corp. in the Empire State Building in New York City. Police say Jeffrey Johnson, 58, a laid-off Hazan employee, shot Ercolino as he arrived for work Friday morning. Moments later, Johnson was killed by police gunfire, which also resulted in injuries to nine people.

Ercolino was vice president of sales at Hazan, an importer of women’s clothing and accessories, and previously worked at Bestch Group and Jump Apparel, according to his Linkedin business network biography. He listed his SUNY Oneonta studies as “business/fashion.’’

Students, interviewed on campus Monday night, said the shooting incident raises questions about gun control, safety and how to identify behavior before someone becomes violent.

Two officers of the Student Fashion Society at SUNY Oneonta said they found out about the shooting Friday. Club President Allison Bukatman said she read about it on the college’s Facebook page, and Treasurer Kristina Nastasi said someone tuned into a news report on a television in the Brain Café on campus.

Ercolino built a career in the fashion industry and might have been someone who would be invited to speak at a club meeting, they said.

“Working in fashion — there’s something we could relate to,’’ Nastasi said. “It kind of hits home.’’

Bukatman said the incident would be brought up at this week’s club meeting Wednesday.

“We probably will say something to pay our respects,’’ Bukatman, 21, a fashion merchandizing major from Bellmore, Long Island, said. “It’s sad.’’

Nastasi, 20, an education major from Monroe in Orange County, said though it’s sad that someone would “get to such a point’’ he would take anger out on someone else, “it’s not acceptable at all.’’

Andrew Saliski, 20, a music industry major from Staten Island, said after he heard of the shooting Friday morning, he texted a friend who works at the Empire State Building selling tickets.

“So, if you worked today, it must have been pretty interesting,’’ Saliski said he wrote, and received “Yeah, unlike anything else’’ in reply.

His friend reported that he didn’t know the victim but knew he worked in the building, said Saliski, who noted that he “figured’’ his friend would be OK.

“There are cops all over New York City,’’ he said. “I think it’s pretty safe.’’

News of shootings seems to be in the news monthly, Salisksi said. He was walking across campus with Russell Somer, 19, a music industry major from Commack on Long Island, who mentioned the shooting in the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., when a gunman killed opened fire, killing 12 people and wounding 58.

“Horrible things happen,’’ Somer said. “Unfortunately, it’s something that does happen once in a while,’’

Lynn Golan, 20, an art and philosophy student from Plainview on Long Island, said the shooting Friday was “terrible’’ and raises many questions, including whether a friend or someone could intercede before “the situation turns sour.’’