UPDATED WITH STATEMENT BY THE GOVERNOR
The only known casualty of last night's wild storm has been identified as 61-year-old Cobble Hill resident Richard Schwartz.
The freak accident occured just after 8 p.m. Schwartz was just blocks from his home when lightning struck Christ Church on Clinton Street. The bolt sent one of the church's spires crashing into the sanctuary, which in turn landed on scaffolding that collapsed onto the unsuspecting victim.
Schwartz was taken to nearby Long Island College Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Schwartz served for 25 years in the state Attorney General's office, where he was considered an expert in antitrust cases. He was in the news last year when he wrote to National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell during the league's lockout, expressing concern for the economic impact the work stoppage would have on the state.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released this statement today:
“I send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Assistant Attorney General Richard Schwartz who was tragically killed last night as a result of the storm. For over 25 years, Richard served the people of New York State with integrity as an expert antitrust lawyer in the Office of the Attorney General’s economic justice division. 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.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo released this statement:
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I would like to express my sympathy to the loved ones of Assistant Attorney General Richard Schwartz, who tragically lost his life during last night’s severe storm. Richard was a dedicated public servant and attorney who served the State of New York in the Office of the Attorney General for over 25 years.
"His commitment to placing the needs of New Yorkers above all else will be remembered and cherished. His work ethic and his passion were an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues with whom he worked during his many years in state service.”
Schwartz has a daughter in college.