Black man kills white teen by shooting him in the face
A recent high school graduate was fatally shot in the face by the father of a teenager following an argument after the man’s son was asked to leave a party, police said Thursday.
Daniel Cicciaro, 17, of Port Jefferson Station, was declared dead at John T. Mather Hospital after suffering a single gunshot to the face following a dispute outside the Miller Place home of John White and his 19-year-old son, Aaron, said Detective Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk County Police homicide squad.
White, 53, was ordered held without bail on a second-degree murder charge at his arraignment Thursday morning in First District Court in Central Islip, said a spokeswoman for District Attorney Thomas Spota. He was due back in court next Wednesday.
Police believe the altercation began Wednesday night, when Aaron White was asked to leave a party in Sound Beach. A teenage girl at the party also made accusations that White had previously written vulgar remarks about her in an Internet chat room, Fitzgerald said, possibly adding to the intensity of the dispute.
After White left the party, a series of cell phone calls between White and Cicciaro escalated the argument. “It apparently became more and more confrontational as the calls went on,” Fitzpatrick said.
Shortly after 11 p.m., Cicciaro and four friends arrived at White’s home, where they were met by the teenager and his father who were exiting their garage. The younger White was armed with a shotgun and his father was carrying an unlicensed semiautomatic handgun, police said.
As the dispute deteriorated, Cicciaro was shot once in the face by the elder White.
Cicciaro’s friends then placed him in their car and took him to the hospital, where he was declared dead.
White was arrested at his home a short while later without incident, police said.
“This is just a terrible, terrible tragedy,” said Andrew Siben, one of White’s attorneys who suggested the altercation may have been “racially motivated.” White is black and the victim is white.
“We are hopeful that when all the facts come out, the district attorney will take a different view,” Siben said.
Fitzpatrick, however, said police do not consider the shooting a bias crime.
A spokeswoman at Newfield High School confirmed that Cicciaro was a June graduate, but declined further comment.
Of course, if the victim had been black and the murderer white then the police would almost certainly be treating this case as a hate crime.