A 61-year-old man was killed following an apparent lightning strike in Coble Hill, authorities said.
It happened Thursday around 8:00 p.m. in front of the tower of Christ Church on Clinton Street.
According to the fire department, the tower was struck by lightning which caused pieces of the tower to break away. The fragments of the tower fell onto the scaffolding and then onto the man, killing him on the scene.
The victim was rushed to Long Island College Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The man was later identified as Assistant Attorney General Richard Schwartz.
He represented the Office of the Attorney General’s economic justice division as an expert antitrust lawyer for 25 years. Clinton Street remains closed until further notice, officials said.
A day later, and neighbors keep coming by to see the Cobble Hill Intersection where the worst of last night's storm struck. The punishing storm touched down last night at the neighborhood's most peaceful place, when lightning struck the top of Christ Church. Nicola Wheir say it all from across the street,."There were 4 parapets and now there are only 3. The lightning had actually hit the scaffolding and the scaffolding had hit one of the parapets which had sheared away from the church. Wheir let only PIX 11's cameras up to her rooftop to get video of the top of the church, which is partially obscured by trees when you are lookling at it from the street below.
Neighbors say the victim, Richard Schwartz, lived in a Henry Street brownstone, just a few blocks away. Joe Igneri, Jr. lives two doors down, "I'm shocked, I'm shocked, I didn't know yesterday I'm looking at the news and I thought could this be Richie? Igneri says Schwartz was divorced and had 2 daughters, "He was a great sports man, tennis with his daughters, golf, running, sat outside with his dog, he knew everybody."
Schwartz worked for the state Attorney General's office for 25 years, AG Eric Schneiderman said today, “New York is a better place because of Richard’s commitment to fairness and legal excellence. Richard’s loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers as we mourn the untimely loss of one of our own.”
Neighbors say the scaffolding has been up around the church since last year when it was shaken by the rare recent earthquake. Neighbors say its the oldest Episcopal church building in Brooklyn.
Jennifer Baron is one of the many people who walk past it every day, "Heartbreaking, it's heartbreaking. It's hard to look at."
Governor Andrew Cuomo said today Schwartz' work ethic and passion were an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun