Neighbor of Clintons Shot Dead While Driving Home From New York City
NEW CASTLE, N.Y. – A woman who lives three doors down from former President Clinton died Monday after a mysterious shooting on an isolated road that left her lawyer husband wounded, authorities said.
Detective Sgt. Marc Simmons said 55-year-old Peggy Perez-Olivo died at about 3 p.m. at Northern Westchester Hospital. He said there are still no arrests.
The wife was shot in the head, and her 58-year-old husband was shot in the abdomen late Saturday night. The husband is in stable condition.
Police said the shootings happened after a car cut in front of the couple's Mitsubishi sport utility vehicle and forced them off the road as they returned home from Manhattan. Carlos Perez-Olivo told authorities that a man with a gun got out and entered the SUV through a back door, and he fought with him, police said.
Despite his injury, Carlos Perez-Olivo managed to drive 10 miles to the hospital.
The gunman fled, police said. Simmons said police are looking at video surveillance of a Mobil gas station near the site, and they released a sketch of the shooter based on the description of the husband.
When asked at a news conference if the husband may have been involved in the shooting, Simmons said: "We're treating him like a shooting victim."
"We haven't ruled anyone in or anyone out," he added.
The shootings rattled this peaceful suburban community in Westchester County, where the Clintons moved when Hillary Rodham Clinton ran for the Senate. Chappaqua is a hamlet located within the town of New Castle, which hasn't had a homicide in eight years.
No one answered the door on Monday at the Perez-Olivio's blue and white Colonial home — one of eight houses in the cul-de-sac. It is three doors away from the Clintons' home, which has a guardhouse at the foot of its driveway.
Police in New Castle said they could not say whether the shooting was a random attack or connected to Carlos Perez-Olivo's work as a criminal defense attorney.
Acquaintances said they were also mystified.
"I can't imagine" why anyone would shoot them, said the Perez-Olivos' landlord, Gerard Gorman. "They're a very nice couple, great folks, sweet people."
Peggy Perez-Olivo works as a teacher's assistant at Chappaqua's Douglas Griffin Elementary School, Principal Michael Kirsch said.
Her husband practiced law in New York from 1980 until he was disbarred in August, according to state court records. State Supreme Court appellate judges found he "repeatedly refused to return unearned funds or retainers to clients."
Perez-Olivo was previously accused of incompetence for failing to recall portions of his closing argument in defense of Elio Cruz, a waiter convicted of second-degree murder for fatally shooting his wife's lover last year in a Manhattan subway station.
"There is a lot of other things that honestly I thought of and I can't think of right now," Perez-Olivo told the jury before Cruz was convicted and sentenced to 18 years to life in prison.
During the trial, a juror gave the judge a letter saying she thought Perez-Olivo had given a "weak, shoddy and often perfunctory, unconcerned performance" on Cruz's behalf. The judge replaced the juror and another who apparently had similar feelings about Perez-Olivo.
Perez-Olivo said when his client was convicted that jurors apparently did not listen to the evidence but instead were swayed by appeals to emotion.
There was no home telephone listing for the Perez-Olivos in Chappaqua.
Spokespeople for the Clintons did not immediately return e-mailed requests for comment.